Skip to main content

ITIL 4 Guiding Principles – Collaborate and Promote Visibility

Communication has always been a key principle for service providers and this ITIL 4 Guiding Principle “Collaborate and Promote visibility” takes us to new heights. Encouraging staff and giving stakeholders the opportunity to develop this skill, will amalgamate teams in ways we never thought possible. 

This guiding principle also represents the influence of Agile, DevOps and LEAN on ITSM and best practices. A pillar of Agile is to be “transparent” and LEAN encourages making work visible in order to remove waste and increase flow. Both collaboration and being transparent are a key focus of DevOps integrated teams in order to ensure a continuous delivery pipeline. To understand this further let’s look at the two elements of this ITIL4 Guiding Principles.


When we communicate, we are notifying or telling something to a person or a group. Collaboration is quite different and occurs when a group of people work together. The key word here is “together”. They work as one unit to brainstorm, discuss and come up with a solution collectively. The command and control type of management and that old culture must give way to new creative experimentation and learning. There will always be a time to communicate and to compromise. But, developing the skills and providing the opportunity for teams that support all value streams to collaborate is crucial if we ever hope to support cross-functional teams and shatter the silos. Collaboration is critical to ensure the entire Service Value System. It is a Win/Win scenario. Take Action! 

Promote Visibility 

Being transparent and promoting visibility across all value steams will help to break down silos and promote collaboration. Making work visible also helps to reveal hidden agendas and improve information sharing to support cross-functional teams. We know that we must collaborate for the co-creation of services with our customers and other stakeholders and if we don’t, some group or person is likely to get caught in the weeds. Trust is essential if we really want to move fast, deliver value and decrease cost. The design-build and delivery of services is not the only value stream that requires that visibility.

Incident management requires visibility of defects that are identified in the design or transition of services. If there is not collaboration between these teams and knowledge or work is not visible it could send your entire support staff into chaos when an incident occurs. This is a tremendous cost to your organization in more ways than just financial

Service Desk Agents... second-tier support staff… developers and suppliers, all need to have visibility into who, what, where and why we are doing something to restore a major incident. They need to collaborate and make work visible and work as a single unit rather than siloed teams where bouncing tickets and email parties are the norm.

Consider your “onboarding for a new hire” or other value streams within your organization. When we think of those stakeholders and teams that are required to fulfill the objectives of those value streams it becomes clear the value of applying the ITIL4 Guiding Principle…. 

Start Now. Take the baby steps that you can or the giant leaps where you have management control but take strides to Collaborate and Promote Visibility.

...educate and inspire


Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner?

I was recently asked to clarify the roles of the Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner and wanted to share this with you. Roles and Responsibilities: Process Owner – this individual is “Accountable” for the process. They are the goto person and represent this process across the entire organization. They will ensure that the process is clearly defined, designed and documented. They will ensure that the process has a set of Policies for governance. Example: The process owner for Incident management will ensure that all of the activities to Identify, Record, Categorize, Investigate, … all the way to closing the incident are defined and documented with clearly defined roles, responsibilities, handoffs, and deliverables.  An example of a policy in could be… “All Incidents must be logged”. Policies are rules that govern the process. Process Owner ensures that all Process activities, (what to do), Procedures (details on how to perform the activity) and th

Four Service Characteristics

Recently I came across several articles by researchers and experts that laid out definitions and characteristics of services. ITIL provides us with a definition that can help drive the creation of value-laden services: A means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks. An area that ITIL is not so clear is in terms of service characteristics. Several researchers and experts put forth that services have four basic characteristics (IHIP): ·          Intangibility—Services are the results of actions not things. They have no physical presence and represent a logical set of elements. One way to think of service is “work done for others.” ·          Heterogeneity—Also known as “variability”; services are unique items because of the mechanisms used to deliver services-that is people. Because the people element adds variability, the service is variable. This holds true especially for the v

How Does ITIL Help in the Management of the SDLC?

I was recently asked how ITIL helps in the management of the SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle).  Simply put... SDLC is a Lifecycle approach to produce the software or the "product".  ITIL is a Lifecycle approach that focuses on the "service". I’ll start by reviewing both SDLC and ITIL Lifecycles and then summarize: SDLC  -  The intent of an SDLC process is to help produce a product that is cost-efficient, effective and of high quality. Once an application is created, the SDLC maps the proper deployment of the software into the live environment. The SDLC methodology usually contains the following stages: Analysis (requirements and design), construction, testing, release and maintenance.  The focus here is on the Software.  Most organizations will use an Agile or Waterfall approach to implement the software through the Software Development Lifecycle. ITIL  -  is a best practice for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the