Great myths of ITIL #1: "You can't manage what you can't measure".
"You can't manage what you can't measure". Who on earth came up with that one? One of my big concerns about the application of ITIL is it's emphasis on KPIs. Useful but dangerous.
Management is about the operation of a function or process. Even though I bet somewhere we have sanitary disposal managers these days, back in the real world "manager" means someone who manages people. They build processes around people and they make them follow those processes but at the end of the day managers manage people.
And you can't measure people. Oh, we try. But you can't. Einstein got unimpressive grades. So many modern corporate ills stem from managers trying to manage people by numbers.
First, I have seen brilliant people (read: valuable corporate resources) laid off because the numbers fingered them. Bad managers applying bad numbers.
Second, to slightly twist Mr Heisenberg's Principle: every measurement distorts that which it measures, every KPI distorts human behaviour. No KPI perfectly reflects the desired outcome - it always leads the measured subjects off the desired path. Management by measurement leads to some weird results (every civil service is awash with them).
Third, the KPI hasn't been invented that measures "good". I used to have to rank my staff, 1 to 12, no equals. What a nonsense. The ranking would shift from day to day depending on the challenges the team faced. It would change from hour to hour depending on who had pissed me off last.
Management by measurement is only a substitute for inept management. Put another way, it is an organisation's compensation for its inability to attract, create and retain good managers. Any decent manager can make correct assessment of staff based on instinct and subjective observation. Numbers help, and they particularly help fire someone, but you can manage what you can't measure. Good managers do it every day.
Now, governance - that's another matter. Perhaps you can't govern what you can't measure...?