Maturity models, love them or hate them; they can help us set improvement objectives against a model of good practice, while possibly distracting us from the meaningful and actionable.
Which model to use? How much is relevant? I won’t be giving a view on that. Instead, we know we’re mature enough when: the right things get done in the right way to deliver the right outcomes; and there is a plan being followed to continue making the improvements that matter at a local, organisational and stakeholder level. (On a side note, how do you determine the right outcomes? That’s a challenge for another day.)
In my view, there are only three maturity ‘perspectives’:
1. Becoming locally consistent
2. Becoming organisationally integrated
3. Becoming stakeholder-driven
I’ll summarise each one in turn:
- Locally consistent – Our journey begins with chaos becoming orderly. We are doing what we need to do to get the job done and our focus gradually moves on to reducing the effort to maintain control.
- Organisationally integrated – We move from thinking about ourselves to seeing the bigger picture. Here, the changes we look to make are designed to improve the end-to-end. We then want to get others joining up to the same dots.
- Stakeholder-driven – We link our performance to our stakeholder’s expectations, i.e. customers, staff and shareholders. Here, we are start performing and improving the delivery of what matters.
Is it that simple? I’d say so. Why not test this out the next time a maturity model is presented and ask yourself, can we simplify this to a few guiding principles? Perhaps keeping it simple will empower those around you to make the changes we all want.