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ITIL4 Guiding Principles – Start Where You Are!


START WHERE YOU ARE! This guiding principle is just common sense. We are either not moving and dying or we are moving forward and living. The guiding principles from ITIL4 best practices are universally applicable to practically any initiative, any size of organization, or type of service provider. There are seven “Guiding Principles” that can be adopted and adapted to suit any service management improvement. The one Guiding Principle that we will focus on here is simple yet powerful! That is “Start Where You Are”.

Every organization that is in business has existing systems comprised of people, practices, and technology! Don’t forget to “Honor the Past”. There are a lot of people who have put a lot of effort (blood, sweat and tears) into helping to improve the capabilities within your organization. Don’t start from scratch and build something new without considering what you already have. It’s almost always better to improve what you currently have than to throw it all away and start again! This approach is less wasteful and preserves existing value. People are much more likely to support the incremental changes you need if their previous contributions are valued. In some cases, you are likely to leverage from 80 percent or more of what you already have in place! 

“Honor the Past” but as Donna Knapp always says, “Don’t be Bound To IT”! By this I mean be open to change. There might be some practices where there is a need to radically rethink the way work is done! START WHERE YOU ARE, assess and then make data-driven business decisions in collaboration with stakeholders. Part of starting where you are could begin with: 

  • Results from Business Strategy Session – Top 5 Strategic Initiatives 
  • The Creation of Stakeholder maps and Stakeholder Management 
  • Light Assessments or Industry Benchmarking – For Existing Practices 
  • Balance Scorecards/SWAT analysis 
  • Observing Directly – Go to Gemba 
  • Collaboration Workshops / Engagement Plans 

START WHERE YOU ARE! This guiding principle is just common sense. We are either not moving and dying or we are moving forward and living. To ensure your next step is moving in the right direction it makes sense then to first understand your business and customers goals, strategies, and mission - know where you are - and then “Start Where You Are”! 

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