Yet another maturity assessment?

As part of the Digital Maturity Model article series, Sasha B. Wakounig explains why companies should use another assessment tool to achieve their goals.

Maturity models and assessments are a great way to help an organization assess and determine their current status quo. This is particularly true for topics and factors that organizations have trouble quantifying and measuring, for example culture, agility, skills & roles or the workplace. Maturity models can alleviate some of these pain points by providing the necessary structure. Decision-makers can then use this structure, derive meaningful insights and translate them into tangible To-Dos and executable initiatives.

But wait, my organization already utilizes various specialized assessments and methodologies to assess organizational, processual, financial and technical aspects. Why should we consider yet another assessment?

Organizations are optimization-driven and it makes sense to dive deep into topic-specific assessments and explore potentials and options for improvement. For topic-specific actions, let’s say in a technical domain, tailored assessments and deep dives are often necessary to identify shortcomings that are very specific to that topic. And for many topics, the current status is quantifiable and measurable. But that technical assessment may be isolated within its domain and lack interfaces to the rest of the organization. This is fine for some specific assessment initiatives, not so much for others as assessment outcomes are often only relevant to the involved part of the organization. Still, issues may arise in comparing findings across departments or when trying to translate assessment outcomes into performance reports.

If looking at the organization from a more strategic and holistic viewpoint, though, the big picture becomes increasingly relevant. On this level, a succinct overview across all relevant dimensions combining all available data is required. This overview should ideally define meaningful maturity levels tailored to the dynamic needs and requirements of specific functions and departments and be able to bring them together in the grand scheme.

Such a structured, overarching model can support an organization in bundling the assessment effort across various relevant departments and functions and help in assessing the current, digital status quo as well as the desired future target state. On top of it, it should be able to quantify maturity when it comes to topics such as strategy, culture or agility. A structured methodology creates the necessary framework in which every part of an organization is measured against metrics relevant to their specific topic of expertise. These metrics are translated into comprehensible maturity levels, depicted both in terms of today’s status quo and tomorrow’s desired target state. This can bring about transparency when it comes to comparisons and benchmarks across the organizations. In a next step, initiatives to achieve the desired target state across the examined dimensions can be set up and placed in a roadmap.

The Digital Maturity Model provides such an overarching view on the six core business dimensions: Customer, Strategy, Technology, Operations, Culture and Data. These dimensions are further divided into several sub-dimensions with topic-specificity in mind. As the Digital Maturity Model is a modular approach, organizations can select the dimensions and sub-dimensions that they would like to examine in detail. The Digital Maturity Model can be a great Top-Down tool to generate Bottom-Up Insights engaging individuals across the organization and setting the foundation to kick-start the digital transformation.