by Ryan Cich
Do you recall roaming the halls of middle or high school and hearing snide remarks like, “you’re so immature”? I was never the target of those comments because I was always wise beyond my years. Ok, that part is certainly not true. I fell into the same traps that most awkward adolescents fall into.

As a business professional, what if we used adolescent lenses to reflect on our businesses. Where would your organization fall on the spectrum of maturity? Are there areas you would consider operating in infancy, adolescence, or in adulthood? Has your organization spent the time to consider where you are, where you are going, and where you would like to be?

Many models exist to measure operational maturity of an organization. Microsoft’s IO, Carnegie Mellon’s Capability Maturity Model (CMM), and Service Leadership’s Operational Maturity Model (OML) are just a few of the leading barometers of information technology best practices and measurement.

In our information age all of our organizations are somewhat dependent on information technology. We need IT to help serve our government clients, educate students, practice law, complete projects, and deliver products and services to our clients’. With that said, we need to be mindful of how we view and apply technology so that our organizations can be at their best.

Overview of Operational Maturity Levels

OML 1: Beginning (Chaos):

Reacting to user issues. Processes are usually ad hoc and the organization usually does not provide a stable environment. Success in these organizations depends on the competence and heroics of the people in the organization and not on the use of proven processes.

OML 2: Emerging (Fire Fighting):

Managing Systematically.  Successes are repeatable. The processes may not repeat for all projects in the organization. The organization may use some basic project management to track cost and schedule.

OML 3: Scaling (Stable):

Preventing Problems. The organization’s set of standard processes is established and improved over time. These processes are used to establish consistency across the organization. Projects establish their defined processes by the organization’s set of standard processes according to tailoring guidelines.

OML 4: Optimizing (Proactive):

Data Driven Decisions. Using precise measurements, management can effectively control production effort. In particular, management can identify ways to adjust and adapt the process to particular projects without measurable losses of quality or deviations from specifications. At this level organization set a quantitative quality goals.

OML 5: Innovating (Zen):

Strategic thought. Focusing on continually improving process performance through both incremental and innovative technological improvements. Quantitative process-improvement objectives for the organization are established, continually revised to reflect changing business objectives, and used as criteria in managing process improvement.

So how do we use this information? It starts with determining where we are on the maturity continuum. Then developing a strategy to move to a higher level of maturity. This is one of the values of having SolutionWorx as your IT partner. We have seen IT environments (and companies) in many stages of maturity. We know what steps to take to increase your companies’ IT maturity.

SolutionWorx is much more than an information technology company. We are dedicated to our clients’ success and strive to be the most valuable partner in our clients’ ecosystem. Our team loves to help our clients increase overall operational maturity. Sometimes that means technology, and sometimes it is a business issue or productivity challenge. We don’t put blinders on to any problem standing in the way of your organizational or personal success.

Summer is a great time to reflect and evaluate if you are where you want to be on the maturity continuum. The end of your vacation is a great time to schedule an extra day before heading back to the office. That will provide you the needed mind time to focus on your strategy, which all too often gets neglected in the day-to-day activities of managing and growing a business.

Working with your dedicated Customer Success Manager is a great way to help address the challenges you face. They see the big picture of how information technology affects your organization and potential benefits from its strategic application. If you would like someone to bounce some ideas off, please contact your Customer Success Manager.

Working together we can improve operational maturity. Then maybe we can all walk down the high school hallways without hearing any snide remarks.