Maturity Models: Readiness ToolKit

Readiness ToolKit


Maturity Models

What are they?

A maturity model provides a systematic framework for carrying out benchmarking and performance improvement.

It includes a series of descriptions of business performance for discrete business elements. The descriptions are ordered into levels of capability from not able to do it through to continuously improving.

The currently available models vary in the numbers of maturity levels they describe and  have a variety of titles for each level. For example some models developed by OGC have 5 levels:

  • Level 1 -getting started/awareness/initial
  • Level 2 -developing/focusing/repeatable/knowledge
  • Level 3 -complying/practising/competence/defined
  • Level 4 -sustaining/exploiting/managed/excellence
  • Level 5 -advocating/transforming/optimised

In some other cases there may also be a Level 0 - unawareness! The optimum level of maturity is recognised as being the level that delivers the organisation's strategic objectives most effectively and efficiently, which does not necessarily mean Level 5.

The RedEToolKit uses

  • not done
  • beginning
  • improving
  • establishing
  • do well

The number of levels and their names can be customised.

What do they do?

Maturity models can be applied to an organisation, a business unit or a team to provide a road map for performance improvement.

  • The first step plots the current capability. Assessing the current level of maturity typically involves answering carefully worded questions. The assessments can be done internally (self-assessment) or externally, by an independent facilitator and may be scored [eg RAG].
  • The second step plans out what needs to be improved. This uses the descriptions for higher levels of maturity to provide the focus for planning performance improvements. To move from one maturity level to another requires actions to be taken that make the organisation more robust, flexible and measurable.

As examples, Maturity Models have been used to:

  • Help visualise how to deliver business benefits in incremental steps
  • Help determine whether a team is fit to deliver a programme and identify key areas to work on
  • Develop and embed a seamless "strategy to delivery"

Organizational Project Management Maturity Models

 "The purpose of the Organizational Project Management Maturity Model is to enhance an organization's ability to implement organization strategy through successful, consistent, and predicable delivery of project. -no matter what the industry..." John Schlichter writing to the PMFORUM

Towards a definition (from OPM3 Program Plan)

  • Organizational increases the domain of project management beyond delivery of the single project
  • The use of the word maturity implies that capabilities must be grown over time in order to produce repeatable success. The Random House College Dictionary defines "maturity" as full development or perfected condition. "Maturity" also connotes understanding or visibility into why success occurs and ways to correct or prevent common problems.
  • Model implies change, a progression, or steps in a process.

Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)

This is a process improvement approach that helps organizations improve their performance. CMMI can be used to guide process improvement across a project, a division, or an entire organization. CMMI in software engineering and organizational development is a trademarked process improvement approach that provides organizations with the essential elements for effective process improvement. According to the Software Engineering Institute (SEI, 2008), CMMI helps "integrate traditionally separate organizational functions, set process improvement goals and priorities, provide guidance for quality processes, and provide a point of reference for appraising current processes.

People Capability Maturity Model

(People CMM, PCMM,P-CMM)

This is a maturity framework that focuses on continuously improving the management and development of the human assets of an organization. It describes an evolutionary improvement path from ad hoc, inconsistently performed practices, to a mature, disciplined, and continuously improving development of the knowledge, skills, and motivation of the workforce that enhances strategic business performance.

The People CMM is a framework that helps organizations successfully address their critical people issues. Based on the best current practices in fields such as human resources, knowledge management, and organizational development, the People CMM guides organizations in improving their processes for managing and developing their workforces.

The People CMM helps organizations characterize the maturity of their workforce practices, establish a program of continuous workforce development, set priorities for improvement actions, integrate workforce development with process improvement, and establish a culture of excellence.

Since its release in 1995, thousands of copies of the People CMM have been distributed, and it is used worldwide by organizations, small and large. First published in book form in 2001, it is in print in several editions worldwide, and a second edition is forthcoming in 2009.

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