Process Maturity

So unlike the Billy Joel lyric “Love you just the way you are”, we can never be satisfied with our processes being just the way they are.  As the organizations that we are engaged by continually change and mature to meet customers dynamic requirements, our processes must be continually assessed, measured and matured to ensure that they stay relevant and deliver value long into the future.  This takes real time, effort and resources.  Organizations cannot possibly move from being informal or ad-hoc to having a fully integrated ITSM program in a short period of time.  Just being able to gather the correct components (people, process, technology and information) can be a lengthy process and, of course, there is the decision of which processes do I begin with.

The saying “Rome was not built in a day” really applies in this situation.  We must begin from the perspective that each level of maturity forms the foundation for the next level of maturity. Trying to jump over levels will almost always lead to a process that is not fully baked and not being properly aligned to support the appropriate levels of service delivery.  As Certified Process Design Engineers (CPDEs) we must make sure that our processes are well embedded within the organizations culture and that the appropriate level of capabilities are provided to those that will be working within these processes.

The first step that we want to take is to assess what the current level of maturity is and ask if it is necessary for us to take on the endeavor of moving to the next level of maturity.  As a side note there are many different models and techniques that can be used to assess process maturity such as ITIL PMF, CMMI and ISO/IEC 15504.  The assessment will help us to baseline our strengths and weaknesses and then allow us to recommend improvement opportunities, define priorities and finally prescribe next steps.  Assessments can be conducted by the Process Owner, Process Improvement Team or some independent party.

A sampling of some of the high level maturity characteristics that might be identified and defined during this assessment could be cost effectiveness, procedural compliance, knowledge capture, business alignment, data capture and process compliance.  At each level of maturity these characteristics, along with challenges and transition steps to the next level of maturity, will be discussed.

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