When a machine shop buys a drill press, management knows how many parts an hour they expect to produce, how often the press will require maintenance, the skills needed to both run and maintain the equipment, and they know how precise the tool needs to be. If the shop produces high-precision parts then an expensive drill press will be needed. If the shop produces high-volume, commodity parts then the drill press probably doesn't need to be an expensive, high-precision tool. A well-run shop will even have mapped out the life-cycle of the press, and know when it should be retired. Having done this, they have a "roadmap" that shows them how much the press will cost, how it will be used, how long it will last and who will be needed to operate it. The drill press is being purchased to solve a business problem, and so the governance of the press is framed in business terms.
So what can IT learn from a machine shop?
- If you can't measure it, then don't try to govern it.
- If you aren't willing to enforce it, then don't try to govern it.
- If it ultimately doesn't result in business profits, then don't do it.
- Keep it simple
- Find a way to objectively measure each employee's performance in terms of business success.
- Don't over-engineer your technology. If a certain accuracy, availability, and reliability is good enough for the business then don't carry it any farther.
Above all else, keep it very simple. Track the smallest amount of information necessary to get the job done, no more and no less.