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Revealed: #2 Guiding Principle. Start Where you Are

Introduction to the Second Guiding Principle 

In this article, I want to throw more light on the second guiding principle for service management which is: start where you are.

Under this principle, organisations are advised to always look at what can be salvaged from what they already have on the ground, before thinking of starting all over again. Most people do not take time to access what is available before condemning any system completely. 

guiding principle

Also, decisions on how to proceed should be based on accurate information obtained through direct observation supported by appropriate and effective measurement. That means what you are to do after you discover the anomaly should be based on what you have discovered from the old system. 


Also, anytime you are following this guiding principle, the measurement you have carried out should be used to support the analysis of what has been observed rather than replace it. It should be noted that over-reliance on data analytics and reporting can introduce biases and risks in decision making. That means whenever you want to make decisions, you should look at what is on ground rather than focusing on data analytics.

You need also to know that the act of measuring can affect the whole result. What you discover when you are measuring will determine the step that you need to take in order to get the best out of the whole situation. 



In this article, which is a sequel to my first article on the second ITIL 4 principle: Start where you are. I want to look at some of the ways that this principle can be applied when an organisation is planning to shift to an ITIL 4 environment.  Let’s look at that together in this article. 


#1 Be Objective as part ITIL 4 Guiding Principle

When applying this second principle, you have to be as objective as possible. That means you should not look at issues on the surface level. You need to look at the system holistically and see what you can salvage before you will conclude that the old system is useless. 


#2 Replication mentality

You also have to determine and decide if what is good in the older system can be replicated or adopted when using the new system. You should ensure that whatever you are building is being built on the former system. This will make change management possible and encourage consumers to adopt the new system without much learning curve. 


#3 Take calculated risks as part ITIL 4 Guiding Principle

When you need to take risks while building your service management plan, you have to make sure that you are taking a calculated risk. You must be able to envisage some of the challenges that you are likely to face and take precautionary measures to come up with some of the ways of mitigating these risks. This will go a long way in increasing your chances of success. 


Must Know About 2nd ITIL 4 Guiding Principle

#4 Not every time

There is a need for you to recognise that it is not every time that you can salvage situations. Most at times, you might not be able to get anything out of the previous solution and you might need to start all over again.  The most important thing is that you have to be sure that nothing can be salvaged before you ever discard the previous solution. 



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Adeniyi Salau
Adeniyi Salau PMP , CCNA R&S , CDMP, CEP, MOS, MCP, CSCU (Project 2016), Microsoft Certified Security and Networking Associate is a Google and Beingcert Certified Digital Marketer, Project Manager and SEO Expert of repute with about a decade of Blogging and online marketing experience. He is always ready to share his experience with others.

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