Start Where You Are

As we continue to talk about the ITIL 4 – 7 Guiding Principles today, we will discuss the principle of Start Where You Are.

The idea of starting where you are helps us to focus on what we currently have in our toolbox. Often when we see a problem ahead of us, we begin by thinking about the best-case solutions that we can think of. We could implement a new CRM or have AI reach out to donors and engage them in real-time. We could automate 74% of our work, which would free people up to focus on exceptional customer service. 

While dreaming about the possibilities isn’t a bad thing, generally, our dreams don’t consider the amount of effort and resources that will be required. This means we start down a road towards a new land, but we don’t actually solve today’s problem. We have visions that we will fix today’s issue when we get to our dreamy new utopia. 

You need to start where you are. If you need automation to free people up to do other value-adding tasks, start with a small piece of automation that you can implement quickly, and that saves a little bit of time. If it is something that you can accomplish in a week, you will start reaping benefits immediately. If you have the skill, or can easily outsource the skill, then you don’t have to wait and plan for months to get to that pot-of-gold at the end of the rainbow. You can get one gold coin this week and another next week, and so-on. 

Start with the skill, resources, infrastructure, software, knowledge, and organizational hierarchy that you have today. At some point, you may need to make a significant change to any one of these areas, but you probably don’t need to overhaul them all before starting to improve your organization. 

Start where you are.