Misconceptions About Moving Through a Maturity Model

    September 17, 2015

    By Jeff Schultz

    A maturity model can be a valuable tool in the struggle for IT service optimization, but only if you know how to use it correctly.

    A maturity model, a system that employs advanced analytical processes to optimize an infrastructure’s performance, has become an increasingly important part of modern IT business practices.

    But some organizations remain unclear on how to utilize this system properly, which can often end up doing more harm than good. Here are the most common misconceptions about moving through a maturity model, and a few tips on how to get past them.

    Start with an End Goal in Mind

    When it comes to IT, there’s always room for improvement. However, problem areas aren’t always immediately obvious, and it can be difficult to know when or where to begin. This point is illustrated by the fact that out of the TeamQuest IT service optimization maturity model’s five levels (Chaotic, Reactive, Proactive, Service, and Value), 53% of IT organizations rank in the first: “Chaotic,” meaning that they lack the ability to handle fluctuating business demands and troubleshoot problems as they arise.

    The key to taking the first step down the path towards IT service optimization is actually knowing where it is you’d like to end up. Without a solid goal set in place, you’ll likely climb out of the model’s first level only to find you don’t know how or where to reach the next one. Any maturity model can help guide you along your way, but where you let it take you is ultimately your responsibility.

    A Maturity Model Isn’t a Ladder

    One of the most common mistakes made when moving through a maturity model is thinking of it as a ladder  businesses start on the bottom rung, and once they’ve become comfortable there, they start trying to figure out what to do next. Businesses need to take a step back and look at the big picture, as this kind of tunnel vision can make optimization more difficult or lead you down the wrong path altogether.

    Think of a maturity model as a set of stairs with a set “top floor"  each individual step is important, but take one away and the entire structure crumbles to the ground. Familiarize yourself with each step of the model ahead of time, then use them to guide the decisions you make throughout your journey. Doing so will reduce the likelihood of short-sighted mistakes that might come back to haunt you a little further down the road.

    Technological Roadblocks

    Another common mistake is to put technologies in place that help you graduate through the first two levels of the ITSO Maturity Model, only to discover they’ve become a roadblock when you reach level four or five. This only highlights the importance of maintaining a big-picture, goal-oriented mindset throughout the entire optimization process.

    At the end of the day, focusing too much on a single step or transition will undoubtedly lead to poor decisions, or even force you to restart the process altogether. Luckily there are a number of tools and services out there to help you use maturity models properly, so they can become an asset and not a hindrance.

    Start by taking TeamQuest’s Service Optimization Maturity Assessment to find out where your current infrastructure stands in terms of optimization maturity. Then use our ITSO solutions and advanced analytic tools to make sure your journey through a maturity model leads you down the quick-and-easy path to IT optimization, instead of up a ladder to nowhere.

    (Main image credit: Jason Devaun/flickr)