In order to understand what Maturity Mapping is we’ll first explore three key terms, capability, maturity and mapping.
What do we mean by capability?
A capability is the ability of a team or a collection of teams to deliver an outcome. Capabilities are composed of the actual day-to-day practises that people and teams do to deliver the outcome. Therefore, to improve a capability, one needs to improve the underlying practices.
Whilst some capabilities may be common across organisations, there are many others that are unique as they exist to serve the needs of that organisation and its customer. Even where there are common capabilities across organisations, it is very likely that the practices are different.
What do we mean by maturity?
Maturity is the consistency of performance and coherence of integration of the practises that compose a capability. That is, Maturity can be thought of as the assessment of the consistency in performing the capability or practise and its coherence of integration with other capabilities or practices, and how improving its performance and integration creates more value for the organisation. I.e. we can consider a practice or capability as mature if any of the possible improvements would not create more value for the organisation in the current context.
What’s a map?
Maturity Maps are a condensed visualisation of the network of capabilities and practices that organisations and teams use to meet the needs of their customers (and/or stakeholders). In maps space and position on the map have meaning. Capabilities and practices are positioned based on their maturity and visibility. This then allows us to see where they can and should move in order to improve the overall outcome by identifying what changes hold the most promise of improving the value to the organisation.
What is a Maturity Map?
Maturity Maps allows us to visualise the changes that have to take place to better deliver the enables a shared way of understanding and discussing a complex area. It moves conversations on from “It’s just not working” to “Our maturity in this particular practice is preventing us from meeting that need”.