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7 Principles For a Successful Digital Transformation

Unlike manual labor such as a building a bridge, what an IT delivery will look like is not necessarily known and mastered at the beginning of the process. The design is therefore subject to change along the way. 

Agile methods have improved IT deliveries by applying empirical rather than theoretical methods; that is, to consider that knowledge is acquired as projects progress and that decision-making is based on known and observed facts. 

COVID-19 has slowed down organizations’ IT transformation. Many of them experienced this period as an obligation to take the digital turn to modernize and automate their infrastructures as well as their technological exploitation and application development processes. 

In this “VUCA” context (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous), ITIL4® sets out 7 key principles in order to implement solutions that deliver value for its stakeholders. 

Below, you will find the 7 principles, along with my personal thoughts on each one. 

  1. Prioritize value

Achieving value should be an integral part of everything an organization does. Is the work worth the results? Do the results, risks and costs make sense? Sometimes the answers are revealing of the consideration of this principle. 

  1. Start where you are

Everything we do is improvement, which means changing. 

However, it is rarely advantageous to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch when undertaking an improvement. Capitalizing on what you have and what works well is a guarantee of success. 

  1. Iterate with feedback

At the beginning of the process, the vision of the target to be reached is not necessarily clear, we advance in small steps, and we adjust along the way. This is the most demonstrative principle of the paradigm shift between the type of delivery; either in small or big steps.  


  1. Collaborate and promote visibility

Collaborating and sharing ideas and information is not always a natural reflex in highly hierarchical organizations. The challenge often lies in the ability of managers to delegate and discuss “real” concerns. 

  1. Think and work holistically

Producing consistent results with each other is another challenge for organizations structured in silos. With all the means of communication at our disposal today, the resources are there. All that remains, is the will to move forward.  

  1. Keep it simple and practical

Never too simple, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication and often the go-to solution for solving complex problems. 

  1. Optimize and automate

Your work is redundant? Challenge it and simplify it to automate it. 

Driven by competent leadership and planning, these 7 principles encourage and support digital transformation initiatives at all stages of the continuous improvement cycle of a high-performing organization. 

Dimitri Laplante – Business Analyste, Consulting Services