In order to be able to adopt any Framework, all Frameworks
should define different levels of maturity recognising that there is no right
or wrong way of doing something but rather there is a continuum of maturity and
that anyone utilising a framework is the best person to judge what level of
maturity is appropriate for them.
A Maturity Model should also define 2 fundamental types of
Structural - representing the domain in
question at different levels of maturity (as defined by MACE).
Transformational - representing how to
move from level of maturity to the next (as defined by MAGMA)
Many existing Maturity Models use CMM (Capability Maturity
Model as developed by Carnegie Mellon University in 1993) as a basis which defines
five levels of Maturity (Initial, Repeatable, Defined, Managed and Optimizing).
While CMM was originally developed to measure the maturity of Software
Development processes it is sufficiently high level to be applicable to any
discipline, however, CMM is only concerned with Processes (Methods) and does
not consider Artefacts, Culture or Environment.
In addition it (and Maturity Models based on it) tend to be
only assessment vehicles that allow people to determine what level they are at
(based on high level Measures commonly referred to as evidence) but say nothing
about how to move from one level to another or why and provide no help to do
All these inadequacies are removed using EMMA, MACE and
EMMA defines four Pragmatic
levels of maturity (based on the theory that was developed at Gordon Training
International by its employee Noel Burch in the 1970s.):
Unconsciously Incompetent - At
this level, we don’t even know (or admit) that we are bad at something! Work is
largely carried out in a very inefficient, ineffective and risky way.
Consciously Incompetent - At
this level, we have recognised and accepted that we are not mature enough and
are taking the first important steps to reduce our incompetence. Work is
beginning to get more efficient and effective and risk is starting to be
recognised and managed.
Consciously Competent - At this
level, we have made many improvements and are now fully competent but doing so
requires concentration and happens because of processes, rules and regulations.
Work is very efficient and effective and risks are fully recognised and
Unconsciously Competent - At
this level, our way of working is so ingrained in our ethos and culture that
work is carried out automatically without recourse to detailed processes, rules
and regulations. Work is as efficient and effective as it can be and risk is
almost non-existent. New starters are assimilated into the collective.
In psychology, the four stages of competence, or the
"conscious competence" learning model, relates to the psychological
states involved in the process of progressing from incompetence to competence
in a skill.
You could think of the levels as:
A Worm - Unaware and burying its
head in the sand.
A Meerkat - Very alert and quite
effective but maybe a little inefficient and quirky.
A Tiger - Strong and powerful.
A God - Something that will
never be achieved but is a good thing to aspire to.
From an opportunity point of view:
You only need to be a Tiger to eat all of the Meerkats you want.
And you only need to be a Meerkat to be able to eat as many worms
as you want.
From a threat point of view:
If you are a Meerkat, to outrun a Tiger, you only need to run
slightly faster than the slowest Meerkat!
If you are a Worm, to out wiggle a Meerkat, you only need to
wiggle slightly faster than the slowest Worm! (Or not wiggle at all!)