Rethinking maturity models for organizational transformation

The field of organizational transformation is full of stories about failure. And much literature about the reasons why they lack larger scale quantitative underpinning. Even less of such literature is available for a pivotal point during an organizational transformation: setting the improvement target.

One of the techniques for setting such a target is the use of a maturity model of which its maturity levels indicate the smart stops on the way to an ideal situation.

In this study, the use of maturity models has been analyzed in 117 organizational transformations with detailed responses covering close to 800 teams and over 30,000 employees. The vast majority of maturity models had 5 levels.

Findings indicate that more than 80% of the teams scored Level 1 while 70% of their managers chose Level 3 or higher as the improvement target for the next six months. Such a strong discrepancy between management perception and work floor reality can be devastating for an organizational transformation. Hence, it is deemed that such exaggerated targets are a possible reason for failure. Such research will help managers set more realistic improvement targets.

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PRAIORITIZE is the world’s first SaaS platform for Virtual Consultancy. We use artificial intelligence to help organizations digitally transform in a smart, efficient and science-based way. PRAIORITIZE is owned and operated by Transparency Lab, a Dutch employee-owned company. We started in 2008, understood patterns around 2016 and started with generative A.I. in 2020.

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