Information technology infrastructure library (ITIL) is a collection of best practices focused on IT service management. ITIL is designed to ensure an integrated, coordinated and flexible system for the effective management and governance of an IT service. Something that makes ITIL flexible is that it is non-vendor specific and it is nonprescriptive, meaning it can apply to any industry or organisation type and does not have to be used to solve a problem but something that can be adopted and used constantly.
ITIL has 7 guiding principles, these are principles that should be universal and should be applied to every facet of an organisation:
- Focus on value – this principle is about understanding the customer and what value they are expecting to gain from the provided service as well as understanding the customer experience as well as how to improve it.
- Start where you are – This principle dictates the way the organisation should make decisions. Being objective and recognising what current successful systems can be kept when initiating a change.
- Progress iteratively with feedback – this principle encourages working in a time-boxed and iterative manner with embedded feedback loops to organise work into smaller, more manageable sections to maintain focus on each effort.
- Collaborate and promote visibility – this principle requires communication between the organisation and its customers so that customers can feel that their requirements are not being ignored. As well as communication between employees so that there is transparency, visibility and a sense of urgency to the work required.
- Think and work holistically – this principle is about recognising the complexity of the system and organisation and looking for patterns and ways to simplify the system through automation to increase efficiency and visibility.
- Keeping it simple and practical – This principle is applied by ensuring that every process, person or resource has its use and brings value to the overall system. It promotes the philosophy of keeping things simple so that things can be done better, faster and with less conflict.
- Optimise and automate – The last principle gathers all the other principles to create a streamlined and optimal outcome.
All 7 principles are not independent but rather interconnecting principles that synergise and work together to help an organisation create or improve their systems so that they can provide the best possible service for their customers by creating value for them and in doing so create value for the organisation themselves.