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ITIL 4 Guiding Principles - Keep It Simple - Take Two

If there is a way to make something complex it seems like we as IT Service Providers have that technique down to an art. Last week an ITIL 4 Foundation student asked, “Why is that?"

The human brain is an intricate organ weighing on average about three pounds. There are about eleven billion neurons and one hundred trillion connections in your brain. The brain is the command central of everything that we think, everything you say and yes, of every solution that we might come up with. Our brain is thirsty for information. The more information we allow in the more eager our brain gets. This cycle generates a demand for stimulation. The more complex something becomes, the more stimulated our brain becomes. Hmmm, this might explain why so many become addicted to tech!    

This guiding principle “Keep IT Simple” is just that… SIMPLE! The difficult task is going
to be how do we ensure that we have “Just Enough” process and governance moving forward but also how do we take very complex systems, processes and ways of thinking that exist and “Keep IT Simple”. In many cases, we will have to radically shift the way that we think and train our brains for a new way of looking at things. A new way to stimulate these neurons is to think, how can I make this more simple? Then look at the solution again. Think once more, How can I make this even more simple? Challenge this creative eager brain to work hard and stimulate it with “Simplicity”! 

There are a lot of techniques and methods that are available to us and in some cases where over-engineering has gone wild, we might have to step back and re-engineer some processes that are too heavy or too rigid for today's evolving requirements and business need. 

One solution to consider is “LEAN IT”. Applying things like “Value Stream Mapping” (a lean tool) that will allow us to identify where there is waste, and where there are bottlenecks that hinder the flow of work. 

Another way to keep things simple is to apply Agile Service Management practices and follow an iterative approach for ongoing continual feedback and corrective actions to siphon out waste with incremental improvements. There are other techniques like swarming and collaboration using chat clients and chat bots! Kanban boards will help to visualize work and therefore identify issues early in the creation of solutions. 

To keep it simple we will have to have an open mind. “Keep IT Simple” is only one of seven guiding principles brought forward with ITIL 4 best practices. These guiding principles are not exclusive and like “Keeping IT Simple”, are used in conjunction with all the other ITIL 4 guiding principles. The ITSM Professor provides an overview for each of the ITIL 4 Guiding Principles. Learn them all and realize how they can help you in your continuous journey for improvement. Understand that to be fast and nimble we must “Keep IT Simple” 


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