Thank you for your enquiry!

One of our training experts will be in touch shortly to go over your training requirements.



Press esc to close

close close

Back to course information

Thank you for your enquiry!

One of our training experts will be in touch shortly to go overy your training requirements.

close close

Thank you for your enquiry!

One of our training experts will be in touch shortly to go over your training requirements.

Training Outcomes Within Your Budget!

We ensure quality, budget-alignment, and timely delivery by our expert instructors.

Share this Resource

Table of Contents

The 7 ITIL 4 Guiding Principles

The 7 ITIL 4 Guiding Principles propose and offer guidance for practising service management essentials to support business needs. These Guiding Principles outlined lead in housing IT Service Management practices to support and ensure successful IT services of the organisation. 

These Seven Guiding Principles are the most applicable fundamentals and practical guidelines of ITIL 4. Following these principles will help you guide in creating value for your company, users and customers of your organisation.

According to PayScale, the average salary of an ITIL Foundation level professional is £43,000, and the ITIL Expert level is £56,000 a year.  

This blog, will help you understand the 7 Guiding Principles of ITIL 4, and more.

Table of Contents

1) The 7 ITIL 4 Guiding Principles

2) Seven ITIL 4 Guiding Principle Benefits

3) Usage of the 7 Guiding Principles of ITIL 4

4) Conclusion

The 7 ITIL 4 Guiding Principles

The 7 Guiding Principles of ITIL 4 are for people responsible for operating and managing the Services of the Organisation. They can guide in taking appropriate decisions and validate the actions that can benefit the Organisation from these best-level practices. 

The 7 Guiding Principles of ITIL 4 are 

1) Focus on value 

2) Start where you are 

3) Progress iteratively with feedback 

4) Collaborate and promote visibility 

5) Think and work holistically 

6) Keep it simple and practical 

7) Optimise and automate 


7 ITIL 4 Guiding Principles

Let us have a closer look at the ITIL Guiding Principles in detail

1) Focus on Value 

When we talk about value, it is not only in the context of finance, but also it motivates you to ponder about UX (User Experience) and CX (Customer Experience). You can expect better results only when you have conducted proper research on who is using your services and how these services create value for them.  

Anything and everything the organisation would implement should create values for self, customers, and stakeholders. Apart from these personals you must also consider the employees, regulators, shareholders, society etc. It is crucial to understand the customer's experience and perspective relevant to service and organisation to deliver the expected value. 

For example, banking services include various banking products which have service channels like over-the-counter, mobile banking, ATM, and net banking. All the banking applications are hosted on an underlying IT infrastructure.  

Failure in any part of the IT Infrastructure could impact the banking services and bring devious results to the bank's performance. For instance, a server-hosting failure in the mobile application can result in the mobile banking application being unavailable to the customers.  

Hence, an IT service provider needs to focus on the value principle.

2) Start Where You Are

It is not required to start something from the start. Instead, you can consider improving on what you have been currently working on. In the pretext of a complete replacement, you do not have to build something new if you can avoid dumping the current project, as it can save you ample time and effort.  

It saves time and effort and aids in maintaining people on board while helping you preserve its value. The previous endeavours will support the changes experimented with their contributions that have been appropriately valued.  

While you indulge in assessment - it is improper to depend only on metrics and reports to analyse the present situation. Instead, you can gain better benefits when you observe the current situation and come to a conclusion. 

For Example - In a service support team, if you regularly check on the performance of Call closure, it might result in improving only one direction (that is, Call closure) rather than resolving the purpose of the call or incident.

3) Progress Iteratively with Feedback 

You must hold out against the temptation of doing all the things at once. This can be possible if you can organise the work structurally into manageable chunks of undertakings that needs to be completed and executed promptly. With an overall focus and keen assistance, it is easier to maintain and manage projects that can bring enormous investments and deliver the anticipated value. Once the outcome or results are received, the feedback can be reviewed and examined to identify the issues, risks, and opportunities. 

To understand this principle better, let us take an example of an organisation which has decided to build an application for the department of Operations.  

The requirement stated by the department to include in the application - Create modules to communicate, report, and perform other functions to evaluate the operational performance, threat, quality, speed, and cost. 

a) Once the IT service management understands the modules required for the operation-based application and has visualised the overall picture of the application, they will start working on it. 

b) However, it is strenuous to create the complete application or product in one go. The developer might forget many points, and there might be many errors in the result, which need corrections to create a completely error-free product.   

Further, the product created with continuous feedback and suggestions can achieve steady development. The whole objective of this principle is to obtain defect-free results without compromising the value stream.

Gain in-depth experience and become a Process Owner with our ITIL Certification. Join now!

4) Collaborate and Promote Visibility 

Collaborate and promote visibility in ITIL 4

Collaboration does not just happen with your team members and service providers. It involves your users, customers, vendors, and anyone related to the services.  

You are supposed to be transparent about what is happening in the current scenario for a collaboration to be successful and effective. If the complete team is updated concurrently on the relevant information; and has a brief idea about what is happening, it saves a lot of time and effort for everyone to collaborate seamlessly.  

Many people who work in isolation and are involved in individual tasks may perform outstandingly. But, the same people might find it strenuous to adapt to a collaborative work environment, as they are expected to be flexible and adapt to the latest changes. After understanding the concept, they can perform better each time after a while with everyday practice and few rehearsals. 

Eventually, people working in collaboration with an agenda can bring significant impact and value to the customers, partners, and everyone associated with the organisation. 

5) Think and Work Holistically 

Have you ever noticed that working faster at times can affect/strain your results or other domains of your organisation?  

It is crucial to consider this point when working in a collaborative environment to confirm that your work does not affect any part of the organisation and create any form of hindrance or disruption. As every department is interconnected with the organisation, you can contemplate a broad range of planning and make decisions regarding the impact generated by the decision made is beneficial for the whole organisation. 

For instance, let us take an example of an organisation launching and promoting a new product.  

The product launch will be successful only if you have previously worked with caution to ensure that your product caters to the demand of your customers. This achievement can be possible only if you have done enough product research, considered customer feedback, and brainstormed with your team members to improve the product.  

Once the product has passed through the trial phase, you can start promoting it effectively (like email campaigns, road shows, social media marketing and more) to communicate to the right audience. It is also crucial to launching your product at the right time.

Learn about various guiding principles of ITIL in Digital and IT strategy with our ITIL 4 Leader: Digital and IT Strategy DITS course now!  

6) Keep it Simple and Practical 

Rather than following the traditional conventions, it is better to follow the simple things which can create Value. Unless you feel the complex steps are necessary for a solid reason, stop doing them. Avoid doing anything which is creating hindrance to the Value. Think practically and try to use minimal steps which are only necessary to complete the process.  

Your process is expected to cover the basics and perform better in each situation. You can train your team based on the requirements and difficulty of the circumstance. 

For example, let us take a scenario when you have tried Signing up for an application. Once you have entered the page, you will look at its UI to judge its capability to some extent. Finally, when you start the signing up process, you will expect it to have minimal steps and finish it as soon as possible.  

The buffering time, the time taken to display the login details after the form submission and many other such minute details are all observed.  

So, that's how this principle works, ensuring the simplification of the process and keeping value in mind. Keeping it simple does not mean compromising the quality of the product.

On a lighter note, you might also be wondering how to grasp the knowledge and details of the entire blog as quickly as possible!

Finally, let us now jump to our last guiding principle.

7) Optimise and Automate 

As we know, optimising means making something functional and applicable. Before automating an activity, it should be optimised to a certain degree to utilise the resources to the best of their limits.  

It is better to start the process manually to optimise the workflow. You can automate the process once you feel it is efficient to use all the tools and resources effectively. Understanding the differentiation between which of the process needs to be manually designed and which can be automated is highly significant when taking a decision to avoid any resource wastage. 

First, consider the overall scenario and decide if the process requires automation. For example, if you are an HR professional, you might build an automation process to fill in dates and months to enter the daily attendance details of the employees. And for the same process, if HR wants to add onboarding details, it does not make sense, as it does not happen daily.  

An example of optimising the work culture is replacing paper with cloud-based tools and reviewing existing processes to understand where improvements can be made.

ITIL Certification Training

Seven ITIL 4 Guiding Principle Benefits

To create and construct the best measures and applications for your team, you may not keep track of time and end up spending a massive amount of time unintentionally (or redundantly). Thus comes the ITIL 4 Guiding Principles as lifesavers forming uniform guidance and procedures.  

The benefits of ITIL 4 Guidelines are extended beyond the IT department that include: 

1) Cost Minimisation 

2) Practical and effective utilisation of resources 

3) Better alignment between the organisation and the IT department 

4) Intelligible expectations briefed up for customers and IT service desk 

5) Assets Visualisation 

6) Better control over risks, service disruptions, and system failures

Those who wish to be involved in learning the diagnosis problems, you can master the Root Cause Analysis Training now. 

Usage of the 7 Guiding Principles of ITIL 4

The organisation needs to consider the relevance of each ITIL guiding principle and understand how to apply them together, An organisation does not need to select just one or two guiding principles to apply.  

Each Guiding Principle has its value; it increases when you articulately combine them to get the most out of it. For example: In an organisation, if you apply the principle “Optimise and Automate”, you should also integrate the “Think and Work Holistically” principle to ensure improvements and deliver the required results. 

You can similarly combine all the other principles of ITIL 4. Applying them with relevance to the context can help you derive simple yet practical results.

Referring to all these ITIL 4 guiding principles beforehand can help you make a wise decision and design an improvement plan.  

If you are making any improvements or planning a new process, you can get a printout of these Guiding Principles and stick it around the working area or desk to remind you of what is paramount


In this blog, we have discussed ITIL 4 and its seven Guiding Principles. Organisations should understand the relevance of each guiding principle and not apply only one or two of them. Instead, consider entangling them together based on the necessity of the given situation. 

Are you an IT professional managing IT-enabled services and digital products? Then, this ITIL 4 Specialist: Create Deliver And Support CDS training course, is for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get A Quote