ITIL Guiding Principles Explained

ITIL Guiding Principles Explained

Introduction to ITIL

ITIL was introduced by the UK government's CCTA (Central computer and telecommunication agency) in the 1980s. The main aim was to ensure better use of IT services and resources for customers and organizations.


Evolution of ITIL

As we discussed, ITIL was first introduced by the UK government, the main aim was to improve the quality of IT services and to save costs for the government. ITIL has evolved through the years; the first ITIL v1 was adopted by organizations all over the world in the 1990s. By the year 2000, ITIL became the basis for Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF).

In 2001 ITIL was updated with ITILv2 which focused on consistency, elimination of duplicates, problem management, release management, security management, IT asset management, and service continuity management. These features continue to remain an important part of ITIL even today.

In 2007 ITILv3 came into existence that was later enhanced in 2011. This version of ITIL increased the importance of prior ITIL versions and introduced the ITIL service life cycle. This ITIL framework is still used today.

ITIL went through revision to become ITILv4 in 2009. This version of the ITIL framework contains a few key differences from ITILv3, but the major difference done was the removal of the service lifecycle. ITIL4 was also introduced to shift focus on value creation rather than service delivery.


What is ITIL?

ITIL stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library. ITIL framework designed to standardize the selection, planning, delivery, maintenance, and overall life process of IT services within a business. ITIL framework enables an organization to establish a baseline so that it can plan, implement, and measure.


Benefits of ITIL

ITIL framework benefits both individuals and business organizations. Implementing ITIL framework within your organization that will help you,

 - To have a better approach to service delivery that improves customer satisfaction.

 - Speak a common language that makes communication effective across the business.

 - Apply ITIL framework tools to improve the organization's efficiency and effectiveness that will improve customer experience.

 - Managing the changes happening in the organization effectively will lead to better outcomes in business.

- Completing ITIL qualifications will help an individual to do better in their career. Following are the benefits one would get,

- Applying the ITIL framework tools and techniques that you have learned in your job will increase your work efficiency.

- Consider your current practices, get feedback from others and try to implement those suggestions in your work.

- Improve your career outlook with ITIL’s certifications.

ITIL framework adoption and maintenance requires a trained and certified expert to lead a company and IT staff. Certifications of ITIL framework are given in five stages,

- Foundation: It is an entry-level certification that covers key concepts and terminologies used for ITIL services management.

- Practitioner: This level of certification helps professionals to adapt ITIL to their organization, so it supports business objectives.

- Intermediate: Each part of this certification goes into different components of ITSM i.e. Information technology services management.

- Expert: At this stage, experts obtain a set of well-rounded skills involved in ITIL best practices.

- Master: At this level, managers need to complete a series of written assignments and oral interviews to achieve master status.

Get all the above-mentioned certification details through Sprintzeal.


Importance of ITIL

Information technology infrastructure library (ITIL) is a set of practices that are designed to align one’s IT services systems with their business objectives. ITIL certification can be an essential asset to business organizations to align business practices.

ITIL framework helps to have a better vision in the business field. And it helps to improve service timelines and customer satisfaction. Operational costs can be reduced with better utilization of resources- digital, system hardware, and human.

Overall ITIL provides a good foundation for business organizations that don’t contain any framework services or ITIL best practices to enable opportunities to pursue their desired job.


Service strategies of ITIL

ITIL framework being a best practice of IT services management helps to fulfill the business needs. ITIL framework uses a systematic approach to manage risks, and customer relations, increase efficiency and maintain a scalable IT services environment in business.

There are five major strategies used in ITIL,

Service Strategy

Service strategy in ITIL is a market-driven stage. It helps organizations determine the types of IT services management that they should offer and markets to target. Service strategy in ITIL uses four building blocks to guide the implementation of your service plans in the business,

Perspective: describe your vision or direction for your services.

Position: Compare your business service strategy with the competitors to understand how to position you and your organization as a lead in the market.

Plan: consider your actions and plan accordingly to achieve your goal.

Pattern: Analyze the important ongoing actions to run your organization smoothly over time. These contain processes like policies, schedules, budgets, and system management.

These four P’s of service strategy help to make better business plans for the organization.

Service Design

Service design is the second service strategy used in ITIL. It provides guidelines and best practices for designing new IT services and processes to organize them for a live environment. Here, implementation, and integration of new services are considered for all the stages of the service design.

The fundamental components of service design, the four P’s are as follows,

Products:  Products are tools, services, and technology that a team needs to successfully deliver and support the organization's service design.

Processes: how ready is your team to implement and support a new process? The team needs to consider what processes, roles, responsibilities, management controls, and activities are required to arrange new IT services management. 

People: It is a crucial task for team members to implement quality service and design according to user choice. Hence they should have a clear understanding of the needed requirements so they could design it accordingly.

Partners: Partners include any third-party companies, such as vendors, suppliers, manufacturers, and stakeholders who are involved in IT services to support the organization. During the product design getting feedback and keeping them involved to build and support new services is an act to be performed.

Service Transition

Service transition manages the new changes done. It ensures all changes done to the service management; processes are carried out in a coordinated way.

Processes involved in service transition are as follows,

Transition planning and Support

This process deals with management and control of the transition plan.

Change management

This process manages the new changes happening in the business. It prevents any unauthorized change to occur.

Service Asset and Configuration Management (SACM)

It maintains a database for configuration items servers, switches, routers, etc.

Release and Deployment Management

It deals with the management and control of movements to release and test the live environment.

Service validation and testing

This process deals with the quality of services offered.

Knowledge management

This process deals with gathering, storing, analyzing, and sharing knowledge.

Service Operation

Service operations ensure that services are being provided efficiently and effectively as per SLAs i.e. Service Level Agreements. It includes monitoring services, resolving incidents, fulfilling requests, and carrying out operational tasks.

Service operations include a total of five processes,

Event Management

The main aim of this process is to make sure the entire configuration items are mentioned constantly. IT services categorizes the events to decide on appropriate actions.

Incident Management

This process is set to restore the service to the previous stage as early as possible.

Request Fulfillment

This process deals with handling requests such as changing passwords, creating new users, creating email IDs, etc.

Access Management

This process manages to let only authorized users.

Problem management

This process deals with finding the root cause of the problem and preventing incidents from occurring again.

Continual Service Improvement

It involves aligning an organization's practices and services with changing business needs, through the ongoing assessments and improvement of each element involved in the management of products and services.

Where improvements are done, benefits provided, return on investments, and values of investments are considered essential to understanding CSI i.e. Continual Service Improvement.

ITIL also helps to understand and implement the needed services into the business, with certain guiding principles. ITIL v4 contains seven guiding principles let us discuss each in detail.


Guiding Principles of ITIL

Here are the seven guiding principles of ITIL,


Guiding principles of ITIL IMG



Focus On value

Every organization aims to provide better services to the customer. Providing a product to the consumer shouldn’t be the only focus, it is essential to understand the key needs and serve them accordingly.

For example, consider a person trying to travel in a cab. The first task is to book a cab online. And learn about the feedback given by other customers to make sure the journey is safe. So the main goal here is to reach the destination on time and safely. Here, the service of the cab driver matters more than other attributes.

Hence focusing on the quality of a product in the first place makes it reliable and effective.

Start where you are

The second guiding principle of ITIL4 tells that building own opportunities are needed when it comes to business. It is a challenge to build a new and unique product when there is already a mark set. So start with simple changes and update the assets that you have and turn them into a fresh objects.

Things take time, never try to do it in a hurry or overdo it just because you have everything. Keep things limited, limitations are what will get you to explore more with what you have.

Try to provide the best from available resources, and it’s a good way to start.

Progress Iteratively with Feedback

Do not try to tackle all things at once, take your time and do things in order. For example, a difference takes place when you overcook or undercook a recipe. While preparing a dish it’s important to analyze the recipe and cook it step by step in the time that is mentioned.

Similarly, Understanding the task properly is the primary task in business is essential. Trying to multitask will do no good, handle things in a sequence.

Try and get suggestions, learn from the mistake, connect with your customers and analyze their needs. Build a product based on what you have learned and do better.

Collaborate and promote visibility

In large organizations, there will be different teams and departments working on a project. Data will be passed accordingly one after another, so every team member must understand the subject.

When it comes to making a project live, each member should have visibility about what their role is to get the project done properly. The problem will occur when there will be a “tunnel vision” and no proper communication among teams.

Collaboration and communication is the first task that needs to be done to give better outcomes in a project. Product will be effective if team members are involved to give out a successful product that will be valuable.

Think and work holistically

It is similar to collaborating and promoting visibility; it also acts as a defense principle. A holistic viewpoint is also necessary at times; because nothing happens in one go there is always a big picture that needs to be analyzed.

Thinking and working holistically means analyzing and involving with team members, departments, systems, and other activities to focus on creating value.

Keep it simple and Practical

Keeping the first principle in mind, this principle is heavily focused on the prevention of waste. Waste correlates with complexity. Higher complexity means there are more opportunities for waste to creep into a system.

Keeping things simple and delivering the products on time to the consumer will help to reach the goal on time.

Optimize and automate 

Optimize and automate depends on how you understand the audience and use automation effectively. The number of consumers you have is often the primary constraint on progress, so technology should be used to its full potential to make products effective so that consumers don’t face any losses.



ITIL is a framework designed to standardize the selection, planning, delivery, maintenance, and overall lifecycle of IT services within a business. The main aim is to increase efficiency and achieve predictable service delivery. Understanding the concepts of ITIL will help to do better in the IT sector.                              

Read more about ITIL Certification levels and Job Scope.


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Niveditha P

Niveditha P

Niveditha is a content writer at Sprintzeal. She enjoys creating fresh content pieces focused on the latest trends and updates in the E-learning domain.

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