After winning an individual tournament or bringing home the team cup for their nation, the most humble athletes often shy away from boasting and say that there is always room for improvement. “On to the next!” they declare. “There is always more we can do!”

When we look at the world of business, it’s clear that companies must stay ahead of their competition to succeed in the here and now. They must strive for growth and improvement — because nobody has ever succeeded by turning up their nose and basking in their sense of superiority.

Nowadays, people and businesses have more resources at their disposal to better themselves. Enter maturity assessments, an excellent tool to assess an organization’s current state and potential areas for improvement.

In this article, we will explore the significance of maturity assessments, how they drive growth, and how to implement them effectively in your business.

What are maturity assessments?

Maturity assessments are structured evaluations that measure an organization’s capabilities and processes against predefined criteria. Because they shed light on any strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement, these assessments are useful across different business functions (e.g., operations, marketing, and customer service).

Let’s review an example of how a maturity assessment flags gaps in a company’s current practices.

Maturity assessment example

A business conducts a maturity assessment in the customer service department. According to the findings, it lacks a standardized process for handling customer complaints, leading to inconsistent and unsatisfactory resolutions.

Now that the company knows what the issue is, it’s time for it to respond. It begins by creating an action plan to implement a standardized customer complaint resolution process. This may call for training customer service representatives, integrating a customer relationship management (CRM) system, and establishing clear escalation procedures. 

Then, the organization carries out the action plan and monitors the progress over time. The goal is to measure maturity against industry standards and best practices. For example, if the new maturity assessment indicates that there has been significant progress in implementing a standardized customer complaint resolution process, the company can now compare its maturity level to other competitors. This gives it a good idea of how it’s performing and encourages team members to keep on improving. 

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The key benefits

Maturity assessments are not just about short-term improvements; they are essential for long-term business success. Here are several reasons why they are so important:

  • Understanding of current business capabilities: Companies are able to identify where they excel and where they need more work.
    • Example: Your organization excels when it comes to in-person sales. However, your online chat support could use a little work. There are times when wait times grow very long, since you don’t have enough virtual support agents. In response, you can hire more help or even jump in yourself from time to time.
  • Inefficiencies and bottlenecks in business processes: Businesses can flag and then address these areas of concern to streamline operations and eliminate unnecessary steps. This saves time and resources, along with increasing customer satisfaction.
    • Example: Your business excels in the marketing department, with sales increasing every quarter. However, your IT department is falling behind as it can take hours to fix a simple issue. Many of your IT workers are new to the job and constantly have to ring in a manager for help. To solve this, you can hold periodic workshops for new staff and have them take detailed notes during each session. 
  • External factors that can impact business growth: Organizations need to be agile and responsive to new technologies, market trends, and customer demands. 
    • Example: During the pandemic, your company made a fortune selling stationary exercise bikes. Now that life seems back to normal, your customers are opting for the local gym instead. To prevent sales from tanking, you could keep your users engaged by installing an iPad that gives access to a library of fitness courses. 
  • Culture of continuous improvement: Companies can cultivate this mindset by assessing their maturity level and encouraging employees to improve themselves.
    • Example: As the year comes to a close, you throw a company-wide celebration to celebrate everybody’s success. You also request that all employees fill out an end-of-the-year exit survey, where they can express what went well and what didn’t. Using this feedback, you can plan staff development weeks for next year, where everybody can learn new skills and discuss current events in your industry.

How to implement maturity assessments 

Implementing maturity assessments can be a tricky process but, with the right approach, you can reap the benefits. 

Think of the latest team to win the World Cup. Their success did not happen overnight — rather, they had to sacrifice time with their friends and family. Day in and day out, they would train together for many hours. Similar to how these players’ coaches emphasized teamwork and discipline as the formula for success, we have put together a set of steps for you to effectively conduct a maturity assessment in your organization:

  1. Define the assessment scope. Determine the specific areas or processes you want to assess. Do you want to focus on project management, IT infrastructure, and/or customer service?
  2. Develop assessment criteria. Create a set of predefined criteria or maturity levels to evaluate your organization against. Make sure your levels reflect the desired state of maturity for each area or process being assessed. 
  3. Collect data. Gather relevant data and information to assess your company’s maturity. Use surveys, interviews, or performance metrics. 
  4. Analyze the results. Review all collected data and identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. Be systematic and objective, taking into account the predefined assessment criteria.
  5. Create an action plan. Based on the assessment results, develop an action plan with clear goals, milestones, and timelines. Remember to involve key stakeholders to increase the chances of buy-in and gain support for the execution of the plan.
  6. Implement the plan. Carry out the action plan and monitor its progress along the way. Don’t forget to assign responsibilities, allocate resources, and establish a system for tracking progress. 
  7. Track and adjust. Continuously track and evaluate the impact of the implemented changes. You can monitor key performance indicators, collect feedback from stakeholders, and conduct periodic assessments to measure progress. Make any adjustments as you see fit.

How to overcome challenges 

There are a couple of obstacles you may encounter as your company begins to implement maturity assessments. Here’s a list of the most common issues, along with how you can overcome them!

  • Resistance to change: Your employees may be hesitant to embrace new ways of doing things, having grown accustomed to the current processes. 
    • Solution: Communicate the benefits of maturity assessments and involve your staff in the process. Be your employees’ go-to support person and listen to them if they have any doubts. 
  • Data collection: It requires time and effort to gather accurate and reliable data. Speeding through the process will surely lead to errors, which will cause you to start all over again.
    • Solution: Establish clear data collection processes and provide training to any employees who collect the data. Don’t be afraid to use technology and automation to streamline this process and boost efficiency.
  • Limited resources: Sometimes, resources can be spread a bit thin or may not be distributed correctly. 
    • Solution: Allocate resources effectively, focusing on areas that will have the most significant impact. This means reassigning existing resources and seeking additional funding or support from stakeholders.
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How to interpret maturity assessment results

After conducting a maturity assessment, it’s time to take a look at the results. You’re going to want to examine any strengths and weaknesses identified in the assessment. Using this information, you will craft an action plan that can improve your business strategy.

Analyze your maturity assessment

  • Look for patterns that shed light on your organization’s maturity. Are there any gaps or bottlenecks in certain departments? It may not be obvious at first glance, but perhaps these departments are lagging behind, which can slow down your overall company’s growth.
  • Consider the recommendations provided in the assessment report and determine which areas need to be improved. For example, fixing your slow IT response could help with risk management, while having your sales team attend more conferences could assist with networking and winning new clients. 

Create a plan

Maturity assessment results should not remain as mere data points. Instead, your business should use this feedback to improve and get ahead. 

  • Identify any current activities that align with the areas for improvement highlighted in the assessment. Brainstorm any potential actions that could improve your business. 
  • Develop specific goals and action plans. Remember to allocate the necessary resources to the departments that need them the most. You’ll also want to track all progress by defining your key performance indicators. 
  • Regularly revisit the maturity assessment results to see how you’re doing. If things are going well, stay the course! If not, don’t be afraid to adjust your strategies and try something different.

The future of maturity assessments

Maturity assessments are continually evolving to meet businesses’ changing needs. Here are some of the emerging trends of today:

  • Integration of artificial intelligence: AI-powered maturity assessments can streamline data collection, analysis, and reporting, leading to faster and more accurate assessments.
  • Data-driven decision making: Maturity assessments are increasingly being driven by data, using advanced analytics to identify patterns, trends, and predictive insights.
  • Personalization and customization: Maturity assessments are being tailored to specific industries and organizational needs, providing more relevant and actionable recommendations.

Use Wrike to benchmark your growth effectively 

As businesses continue to face emerging challenges and opportunities, maturity assessments will play a key role in benchmarking and boosting their growth and success. The beauty of these assessments lies in their ability to help companies stay adaptable, embrace innovation, and navigate changes.

With Wrike, you can track your maturity levels, manage your assessments, and visualize your growth over time in one centralized location. 

Beyond maturity assessments, Wrike also offers several unique features. These include:

If you’re ready to benchmark your growth and drive your business success with maturity assessments, you’re in good hands. Start your free trial of Wrike today.

Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.