Consultants are often asked to conduct maturity assessments. Our customers want a score relating to maturity so they can show progress and benchmark against other organizations. Unfortunately, the standard maturity assessment really offers little value to the organization. Almost every best practice relating to IT has a maturity assessment.
Most of the time, the assessments are customized to meet the needs of the client which virtually eliminates the ability to benchmark scores with other organizations. In addition, many maturity assessments merely measure process maturity. Is the process implemented and well documented? If so, credit is given in the assessment. Assessing at this level is of little value to the organization. It doesn't reflect performance nor does it provide any information about the customer experience.
Assessments should be valuable to the organization. It isn't about process maturity or a score. It is about how the IT organization is performing compared to the business's expectations and needs. What are the pain points affecting the customer? How are priorities identified and communicated? Does everyone in the organization understand how to navigate in order to get work done? How are IT investments identified and prioritized?
The questions noted are a small sampling of relevant questions which can yield interesting information about how an organization is performing. The assessment questions and technique will vary based on the organization’s goals and objectives. A valuable assessment provides information about the efficiency and effectiveness of the IT organization. It is not about maturity but performance.
The outcome of the assessment should be information about how IT is performing as well as a roadmap which clearly illustrates actions which will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the IT organization.