ITIL v4 – A Shared Language of Quality

Read time 3 mins

Written April 2019


Already being ITIL-aligned meant it was a straightforward decision for Littlefish to become early-adopters of version 4 when it was released in February. Deploying new technologies and processes, only when they can demonstrably deliver value to the customer, is key to Littlefish’s approach, balancing agility with reliability.

“It shines a light upon the opportunities to improve” says Nick Briars, Head of Service Management Office, “and confirms the things we’re already doing really well.”

“The new iteration, version 4,” agrees Natasha Phillipson, Service Delivery Manager, “has seven guiding principles that have the customer experience at their heart, and a particular focus on the benefits of automation, freeing up – as we develop it – the engineer to focus on the really important, higher-level issues for the client and develop the relationship with greater empathy and insight into the issues.”

A further hallmark of this new ITIL version is customisation.

“It doesn’t determine that all aspects of the process apply to all customers, all of the time,” says Natasha. “Every customer has individual needs and ways to deliver on them, and the new framework allows us to be as flexible and as responsive as the customers’ requirements warrant.”

This reflects a world in which there is rarely such a thing as ‘standard’. The automotive industry is a case in point: Nissan cars project that customisation and personalisation – from exterior colour or engine type, to interior trim and connectivity options – will deliver 25% of the company’s sales revenues by 2022. Customisation and personalisation – expressions of customer choice – are now an expectation across B2C, and increasingly B2B markets.

Littlefish’s commitment to adopting best practice, to professional development and to delivering the highest quality services to the client is why so many staff have already applied principles aligned with v4 and why 20 staff have passed the new exam within weeks of launch, and another 15 to follow in June.  Littlefish is, furthermore, encouraging ITIL v4 accreditation through all areas of the business, from Team Leader and Service Delivery Managers to Project Managers.

Applicable to wider aspects of service support, ITIL is recognised as the ‘badge’ for IT managed service providers and internal service delivery and service management teams. Already adopted by companies like Microsoft, Caterpillar, IBM, Disney, Spotify, and many more, ITIL provides a best practice framework.

“It’s not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ process”, underlines Nick, “but adaptable to individual companies.’ The ITIL principles can be flexed and differing aspects applied, making it scalable to 500 or 5,000 – or more, end-users.”

Becky Roberts, Service Improvement Manager, agrees: “It’s a win-win-win: for a customer, with whom we share a common language from the start; the company, who demonstrate a commitment to being agile, fast-paced and lean; as well as to the individual, who can train-up on the industry-recognised kite-mark for service improvement, enhancing their own promotion and career prospects. Everyone benefits.”

The seven guiding principles of ITIL version 4 are: focus on value; start where you are; progress iteratively with feedback; collaborate and promote visibility; think and work holistically; keep it simple and practical; optimise and automate.

The shared objective of these principals is to eliminate or reduce processes that don’t add value to stakeholders and increase and amplify those that do. They therefore empower the customer, the company and most importantly, all service delivery employees, to make positive changes for the better – because ultimately, continuous IT support service delivery improvement is everybody’s responsibility.

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