March 17, 2014

Maturity Level? Don't bother...

I often see consulting firms, experienced Enterprise Architects or even sales architects go on and about the need to assess the Maturity Level in some area on some organisation. I'm sorry but if this is your best ice breaker conversation, or start of an engagement, then you have started by the wrong end: the need to dismiss my organisation efforts to be better and the urgent need to elevate yourself or the company you represent to stardom status.

Take the CMMI Maturity Levels for instance.

My organisation might be optimising like a wild animal in some areas, but at the same time lagging in poorly controlled and reactive processes. Organisational maturity is very much what matters, but if I'm calling expert help is because I'm in an initial stage at this project or capability, hence DON'T WASTE TIME assessing my team, organisation or department!! Just HELP ME for God's sake!!

But no...

Looks like a pissing contest but this behaviour actually has an agenda. We all do it in one way or another. If you're in any market it's unavoidable to be out there doing one of these, when actually saying something else:

- Calling yourself dum: "I want to improve"

- Calling your peers dum: "I want to grow"

- Calling your organisation dum: "I want to evolve my career"

- Calling your customers dum: "I have assessed your company's maturity level and I have good and bad news"

Be authentic for crying out loud and you'll learn everyone's trust. Quit the maturity level assessments and replace them with actions. Small actions that will deliver in short periods. Stuff will happen anyway so you might want to lead them and take the tour with your customers and partners.

An example of calling customers dum

Car manufacturers obsession in gearing up their cars with tech gadgetry. This is an increasing trend. The statement here: make the driver a passenger in their own spin. Why on earth would I like to be a spectator in my own life? It's engagement I want, not detachment.

An example of triggering experiences in your customers

Amazon mobile app. The company is always in my pocket and I can engage with them at any time by means of taking pictures to an item, get it recognised for later purchase or putting it on a wish list. The company is empowering me, not making me obsolete, or feel stupid.

All and all

What car manufacturers should do is create a mechanism to feedback all that tech developments into ways that customers could engage with it outside the car driving experience.

So next time that arrogant consultant tells you there you are too far from the finish line because your organisation's maturity level is low, asking him to take an emotional maturity level exam!

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