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What is ITIL v4?

Updated: May 25, 2021

This article mentions what ITIL 4 is and what are the essential elements we need to study and learn, that the organization needs to prepare for changing our business to the world of digital. The content of part 1 will talk about the following:

  • Principles and concepts of ITIL 4

  • 2 main core components of ITIL 4

  • ITIL 4 Guiding Principles

ITIL 4 is built on the core of defined best practice, which taking into account the pace of the

modern world of business and technology, how it works today. ITIL 4 focuses on creating

“value” or “Value Stream” and end-to-end operations, which use the principles of Lean, Agile and DevOps applied to business of IT service management.

  • Lean focuses on creating value (Value stream), reducing unnecessary steps and duplicated works to achieve maximum benefits

  • Agile increases the concept of operating the work faster, by reducing the steps of work and more focus on team communication for developing the products faster and meet customer needs

  • DevOps focuses on the process of software development to deploying efficiently and effectively, focusing on automation to monitor the status of software to improve the development process.

The ITIL 4’s core component consists of the following two main components:

1. Four dimensions model of Service Management, from a business and organization’s perspective (similar to balance score cards), taking into account the following aspects.

  • Organizations & people

  • Information & technology

  • Partners & suppliers

  • Value stream & process

2. ITIL service value system (SVS) describes how the components and all activities of the organization that have to work together, that can create the value, it consists of 5 parts

  • Guiding principles

  • Governance

  • The service value chain (SVC)

  • ITIL practices (ITIL v3 process)

  • Continual improvement

ITIL guiding principles, there are 7 important items for an organization

The ITIL guiding principles can be used as guidelines of the decision making and in organization’s operations in order to create a understanding of service of the organization and create a culture of corporate, changing behavior since strategic planning to daily operations.

ITIL Principle 1, Focus on value :

By focusing on creating value as the most important thing in serving customers or stakeholders, including internal departments, employees, shareholders. However the value is not just only financial perspective but have to take into account Customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX).

ITIL Principle 2, Start where you are :

Firstly, you need to know where our organization is and starting from where we are or what we have without creating new things. Should be able to improve what we already have today.

ITIL Principle 3, Progress iteratively with feedback :

Repeat the processes and keeping improve the processes to suit our organization the most. However, should not improve everything, all at once, that it will pending the business or have the large number of investments. But must be gradually adjusted from a small task, which be easier and manageable. And then move to the bigger ones.

ITIL Principle 4, Collaborate and promote visibility :

Organizations need to work together. Without separating departments or SILO, and must be transparent and verifiable by changing the view of work to service as an example shows about an old and new organizations

4.1 Classical IT organization with specialist department

  • The disadvantage of working as Silos is that there is less communication between teams or departments.

  • There must be a formal process of management.

  • It is necessary to have a manager, a KPI.

  • Internal assessments or evaluations are complex.

4.2 Modern Agile or DevOps service teams

  • Have direct contact with customers.

  • Customers can specify requirements directly to that dedicated service.

  • Support and development team are the same (one) team to have problem solving faster (DevOps)

  • Even the server provides Virtual / Cloud service.

ITIL Principle 5, Think and work holistically

The concept is how to make the organization move and operate as quickly as possible. Where we exert minimal effort or changes anything then it will impact to the organization. Where those changes will not affect our work. Simply put in a less effort but get back higher results.

ITIL Principle 6, Keep it simple and practical

Improve internal processes. Make it easy, simplify the procedure but must perform the tasks and create values

ITIL Principle 7, Optimize and automate

Existing tasks/services should be optimized to make it even better as possible and consider which ones could be automated tasks so then it is not wasting the time on that particular part.


As mentioned above, in the content, ITIL 4 focuses on creating value, where we must take into account the 7 Guiding Principles in driving the organization and prepare to lead the organization to a world of rapid change effectively.

In the next chapter will discuss about management in the organization that should has a clear picture, metric or measurable (Governance), Service value change and continual improvement

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