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Maturity Models for Strategic Alignment

June 12, 2008

Good examples of strategic alignment maturity models were developed by the IT Governance Institute . Each of these models uses criteria, composed of a variety of attributes, to build different levels of maturity. Luftman defines five maturity levels using the criteria and attributes described in the first two columns of Figure . The last two columns indicate the characteristics or values of each attribute to obtain a level 1 or level 5 of the maturity model. When doing this maturity assessment, it is important to comply with the basic principles of maturity measurement: one can only move to a higher maturity level when all conditions, described in a certain maturity level, are fulfilled. This implies that, in order to obtain a maturity level 5, all attributes must have the values described in the last column of Figure .

Criteria

Attribute

Characteristics level 1

Characteristics level 5

Communications

Understanding of business by IT

Understanding of IT by business

Inter/intra-organisational learning

Protocol rigidity

Knowledge sharing

Liaison(s) breadth/effectiveness

Minimum

Minimum

Casual, ad-hoc

Command and control

Ad-hoc

None or ad-hoc

Pervasive

Pervasive

Strong and structured

Informal

Extra-enterprise

Extra-enterprise

Competency/value measurement

IT metrics

Business metrics

Balanced metrics

Service Level Agreements

Benchmarking

Formal assessments/reviews

Continuous improvement

Technical, not related to business

Ad-hoc, not related to IT

Ad-hoc unlinked

Sporadically present

Not generally practised

None

None

Extended to external partners

Extended to external partners

Business, partner, & IT metrics

Extended to external partners

Routinely performed with partners

Routinely performed

Routinely performed

Governance

Business strategic planning

IT strategic planning

Reporting/organization structure

Budgetary control

IT investment management

Steering committee(s)

Prioritization process

Ad-hoc

Ad-hoc

Central/decentral, CIO report to CFO

Cost centre, erratic spending

Cost based, erratic spending

Not formal/regular

Reactive

Integrated across, external

Integrated across, external

CIO reports to CEO, federated

Investment centre, profit centre

Business value

Partnership

Value added partner

Partnership

Business perception of IT value

Role of IT in strategic business planning

Shared goals, risks, rewards / penalties

IT program management

Relationship/trust style

Business sponsor/champion

IT perceived as a cost of business

No seat at the business table

IT takes risk with little reward

Ad-hoc

Conflict/minimum

None

IT co-adapts with business

Co-adaptive with business

Risks and rewards shared

Continuous improvement

Valued partnership

At the CEO level

Scope and architecture

Traditional enabler / driver, external

Standards articulation

Architectural integration

  • Functional organization

  • Enterprise

  • Inter-enterprise

Architectural transparency, flexibility

Traditional (e.g. accounting, email)

None or ad-hoc

No formal integration

None

External scope, business strategy driver/enabler

Inter-enterprise standards

Evolve with partners

  • Integrated

  • Standard enterprise architecture

  • With all partners

Across the infrastructure

Skills

Innovation, entrepreneurship

Locus of Power

Management style

Change readiness

Career crossover

Education, cross-training

Attract and retain best-talent

Discouraged

In the business

Command and control

Resistant to change

None

None

No program

The norm

All executives, including CIO

Relationship based

High, focused

Across the enterprise

Across the enterprise

Effective program for hiring and retaining

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