Maturity Levels

· December 23, 2018

There are quite a few organizational maturity levels, but I’ve generally found them either too specific to a certain domain, or too speculative to apply properly. I recently read a Miller Heiman Group publication that included the one they have developed for sales enablement processes. It seemed to strike the right mix between practicality and useful, and I’ve found it helpful in getting an orientation on a few process-related questions.

The four levels (at least in how I interpret them) are:

Random: While the process is happening, its generally due to the actions of individuals or small teams, and there is no formal coordination across the organization in this domain.

Organized: There is some cross-team coordination in at least one part of process, there is a general recognition of the need for such a process, and the core audience the process serves is well defined.

Scalable: The process is organized across all parts, there is a governance method determined, and a broader set of audiences/stakeholders is considered.

Adaptive: The process has visibility at high levels of the organization, and there is a second level of direction setting to reflect and redirect on it.

Its pretty easy to map these to questions to ask to ask or things to look for. For example, if I were looking at a hiring process at a company I might consider:

  1. Random - is hiring handled by individual managers? Are standards and procedures ad-hoc, or shared manager-to-manager?
  2. Organized - is their some formal involvement by an HR function or similar? Are they involved consistently in at least one part (sourcing, interviewing, onboarding)?
  3. Scalable - are there consistent practices across the company, and across the whole hiring pipeline? Is there a group which is the keeper of the truth for those standards?
  4. Adaptive - is company-wide hiring a consideration at the executive level? is there a process in place to review how well new hires do and suggest improvements?

Assessing the maturity level gives you a guide on where to apply pressure, and what kind of tactics will improve the situation and help move to the next rung of the ladder.