Due to the increasing demands for technology integration into all major business sectors, the IT industry has been rapidly propelled forward, especially with the changes that 2020 brought with it. With business and technology inextricably linked, professionals looking to grow their careers and establish themselves as leaders will need to gain new skills to maintain an edge against their competitors.
ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is a set of detailed practices for IT professionals to use that help keep IT services aligned with the needs of the business. Starting with the Seven Guiding Principles of ITIL 4 will help you understand why an ITIL certification can help you either start a new career or get that promotion you’ve been working toward.
1. Focus on Value
Everything your organization creates should be anchored in creating value for all your stakeholders, including the regulators, society, shareholders, and even your employees. Don’t limit the company’s perspective to your customers and your users. Remember, value is not just about finances. Try to think about the customer experience (CX) and how your customer’s user experience (UX) can enhance the overall value of the product or service that your organization has to offer.
2. Start Where You Are
Building something new is not always the best way to move forward. Don’t default to starting from scratch, but instead consider the systems and structures that you already have. It’s almost always better to improve your current systems than to throw it all away without carefully evaluating if there is indeed a need for you to do a complete overhaul. You will not only preserve what is valuable in your organization, but it’s also less wasteful in resource management.
3. Progress Iteratively with Feedback
Always practice breaking down big projects into smaller, more manageable tasks. Doing everything at once and spending significant investments in long-term projects that promise to deliver value only after completing the project rarely offers the exact value you expect. Practice seeking feedback not just at the end but also while each section is being completed. Doing so ensures that your actions are consistent and focused, even if you encounter some drawbacks from time to time.
4. Collaborate and Promote Visibility
Practice collaboration and transparency in your organization. When you collaborate, you create value for yourself and with the people you work with. Ultimately this will lead to more value for your customers and partners. But before collaboration can be effective, you also have to practice transparency. Tell them what is happening and what is the current progress. When you share relevant information, it’s much easier to motivate people to work collaboratively.
5. Think and Work Holistically
Think of the bigger picture. All the services, practices, and processes within your organization are interconnected in a complex cycle. Each department has a role to play, and every supplier you work with has its contribution to this interwoven system and structure. If you think of your tasks and projects separately, you’re more likely to cause a strain on the specific parts of your organization. Thinking and working holistically will help you make decisions that should benefit everyone.
6. Keep It Simple and Practical
The most effective solutions for complex problems are often the simplest and the most practical. Instead of focusing on the complex processes, focus on the simple tasks that create value for your team. Evaluate and identify the complicated steps that you are following in your business organization. If you cannot find a solid reason you are doing it, it’s time for you to find a more straightforward way to go about it. You’re not only saving time and resources, but you are also training your people to work smarter with value creation in mind.
7. Optimize and Automate
Optimize whenever possible and automate wherever you can. When you use all of your resources effectively and efficiently, you build a system that allows your organization to create more value faster. Consider which tasks can be automated and identify instances that require people. When you simplify processes, you are eliminating unnecessary steps that waste more resources. Remember to optimize first before you automate a process to ensure that what you are automating is already efficient and effective, which prevents you from doing wrong things faster.
These principles, when combined and applied correctly, can ultimately help you work smarter, and your organization achieve its vision. Remember, you cannot implement change with a snap of a finger. Improvement requires careful planning, iteration, feedback, and optimization. The Seven Guiding Principles of ITIL 4 are a great start, but there’s much more to learn to fully implement ITIL and see its benefits.