The Big Picture

Today we are looking at the ITIL 4 Guiding Principle of ‘Thinking and work holistically.”

Everything that you do has a ripple effect. If you produce a product, your customers aren’t going to buy from you forever. If you treat people or the environment poorly, you will soon find that neither provides you with resources to continue your success. When you are delivering projects within your organization or to your customers, you must always remember how one thing affects another.

Thinking and working holistically means that you have a real understanding of the big picture. Often we run into trouble because we focus on an important part, but forget the big picture. We focus on securing personal data and ignore the experience of the users who have to enter that data. We focus on a web-based platform with all of the bells-and-whistles and forget that the bulk of our intended customers are in low-bandwidth areas. The quality that you deliver in security and a universal platform is important, but when you are thinking holistically, you are thinking about the impact on the business value.

Holistic thinking starts by figuring out what value you are trying to provide. It echoes Simon Sinek’s Start With Why. If you can figure out the reason (the why) behind what people are doing, then you know what is valuable to them. Once you understand what they perceive as valuable, you can see how all of your efforts should be focused. Don’t let one part of your work detract from the value that you are trying to add.

Understand the big picture. Make sure that you are working to contribute value.