Process maturity models start from the assumption that such a model is capable to identify process performance from multiple perspectives and setup an enterprise change program.
Dan Kane‘s post is clear regarding pure capabilities of this advanced models.
A typical maturity assessment starts with the assumption, implicit or explicit, that improved process maturity is an end goal in and of itself. Here is a great example of what I mean, based on the CMMI model of evaluating maturity. The definition of Level 1 maturity for Incident Management indicates there is no defined owner of the process. Part of reaching Level 2 maturity is identifying a single process owner. I agree that having a single owner of the process is a good thing, but what goal does it help achieve? Moving to Maturity Level 2? Congratulations. My concern is that many maturity assessments end there. You’re at Level 2 (or 4, it doesn’t matter). Now what?
One month ago Capgemini published a new BPM report state of the nation. This study show evidence that many companies reported that most of its business process had a maturity level of 3 : defined and compliant with business rules (or any similar outcome) and what to move to level 4 (in a scale of 5).
During this year enterprises I work with are facing continuum pressure to improve operational processes, focused on cutting costs. Change candidates are normally the ones that use more resources. Typically is being said maturity models help managers to make decisions where to start change programs, but practice shows that managers ignore it. This is because maturity models ignore proper human reasoning and human perception of what must be changed. Managers feel correctly what is needed to be transformed.
Do you believe it’s worth to start a change program because you have a process at level 3 maturity stage when a level 5 process, customer critical is the first candidate? What if all processes equalize at level 5 (like human assessment methods that after 3 years of implementation 80% of employees reach the top of the scale).
Hence, what is the value of maturity models?