I saw it on a computer so it must be true
This is the 21st Century. We shouldn't be falling for that old "I saw it on a computer so it must be true" stuff. A model will always be the model-builder's view of reality.
In this blog today was this comment on the post "The Emperor Has No Clothes: Where is the Evidence for ITIL?" [incidentally that is now the second most popular post ever on this blog]:
In an internal company workshop, an ITIL author showed us quantitative models that showed the effect of each ITIL entity (process, function, cmdb and so on) on the overall performance of the IT organization. Generic and real-life examples.
What was fascinating was that he did this in real time with freely available desktop software. He modeled ITIL systems within a picture of larger business systems and demonstrated sensitivity analysis and how data, training, and process affected the behavior of the business over an extended period of time. Some made it better, others made it worse. It wasn’t always obvious.
The performance graph for an organization starting with Incident management, for instance, improved for a period of time and then fell into a downward trend. After Problem management was added to the model, the curve resembled more of an s-shape.
He then took the pony example from the strategy book and modeled it. He asked for recommendations from the group on how to fix it. Many suggestions made the performance worse. The right answers turned out to be simple but surprising. Now the CIO wants our organization modeled. The week before he was skeptical of ITIL.
Modelling is based on models. Models contain equations. Equations contain constants. Constants are either based on correlations derived from research or pulled out of somebody's ... er... head.
What you are seeing is a theoretical model, based as all ITIL "data" is on somebody's subjective experience.
The real world might work like that, it might not. Nobody can prove it. As that "Emperor" post lays out, there is no ITIL research in the scientific sense of the word. There is as much research for ITIL as there is supporting homeopathy, i.e. anecdotal reports with no controls. Actually homoepathy is different because real science shows it doesn't work. With ITIL we just don't know. ITIL could be as much about the placebo effect as diluted water is.
Models predict whether a new airplane design is going to fly. Sometimes the plane crashes. Models are a representation of somebody's view of the world, not of the world. The world is always more complex in fact than any model.
Whatever ITIL numbers you see out there are generated by the ITIL industry (analysts, vendors) based on asking people if their multi-million dollar multi-year project was a good idea or not.
GIGO (Garbage in, garbage out) is true of the data fed to a model, and of the data on which the models correlation constants are based.
If this author has some real data, let them publish it and their methodology so they can be subjected to peer review like real science.
This is the 21st Century. We shouldn't be falling for that old "I saw it on a computer so it must be true" stuff. If you want to pay someone to see your business in a movy-groovy computer model, that's nice. But it doesn't prove a thing.
A model will always be the model-builder's view of reality.