This article speaks very well to my experience as well. I spent around 1.5 years in an ITIL focused role that had people who lived and died by numbers. Everything was converted to a metric and the sole aim in our life, was to improve it. Of course many things got better, but then new issues arose because of fixing the older things. People were so focused about scaling and achieving target metrics, that they had left out the job of empathizing with the user and figuring out the actual user journey before going en-masse with the process changes and affecting scores of people. On the other hand, I also empathized with the people who effected these changes, because these changes were driven from the top and assigned to folks who were already up to their eyeballs in work.
As you say, this is a pattern that continues to repeat itself in business :(