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The Object Management Group recently published version 1.0 of their Business Process Maturity Model (BPMM), available for download at www.omg.org. Modeled on the familiar Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), the BPMM describes five levels of process maturity from Initial through Innovating. A quick review of the table of contents should be enlightening to most executives. For example, is your organization paying attention to organizational process leadership? Monitoring and control? Sourcing management? Competency development? Improvement planning? Organizational performance alignment? How? Are your processes documented? Do you have adequate activity definitions and job descriptions? Training materials?

Traversing the five maturity levels is no easy task. Like everything else, however, it’s important to take stock of where you are now (Level 1?), where you want to be (Level 5), examine the gap between and develop a plan of action. Process maturity levels include:

1. Initial. There are no specific objectives. Success in these organizations depends on the competence and heroics of the people in the organization and not on the use of proven processes.

2. Managed. The objective is to create a management foundation within each work unit or project.

3. Standardized. The objective is to establish and use a common organizational process infrastructure and associate process assets to achieve consistency in how work is performed to provide the organization’s products and services.

4. Predictable. The objective is to manage and exploit the capability of the organizational process infrastructure and associated process assets to achieve predictable results with controlled variation.

5. Innovating. The objective is to continuously improve the organization’s processes and the resulting products and services through defect and problem intervention, continuous capability, and planned innovative improvements.

You might begin by understanding where your organization fits into this model – taking an honest assessment is the first step. For a deeper dive into the model, I encourage you to visit www.omg.org and download the entire BPMM version 1.0 document.

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