Process Maturity: Knowing Where Your Lean & Six Sigma Initiatives are Headed and When You’ve Arrived

by admin

Process Maturity: Knowing Where Your Lean & Six Sigma Initiatives are Headed and When You’ve Arrived

by admin

by admin

Do you know how mature your processes are? Yes, processes, just like people, go through stages of development in which they progress and change. But just like some people, some never really grow beyond the child or adolescent stage. The Process Maturity Model offers a framework for measuring process maturity.

The Process Maturity Model defines maturity in terms of a process’s predictability in meeting the targeted outcomes. Why is predictability so important? Because an organization can only hope to reliably maximize their profitability if they can predictably hit the targets necessary for their success. In fact, studies have shown a direct correlation between Process Maturity and Customer Loyalty and the Cost of Poor Quality and, ultimately, Profitability.

Is the Process Maturity Model just a new idea that will substitute for Lean Six Sigma? The short answer is no, on the contrary. If you’re curious about how it relates to Lean Six Sigma or other approaches to continual improvement and are looking to improve and ensure your organization’s success, keep reading for more insights into this essential framework.

The Origins of the Process Maturity Model

Crosby’s book, Quality is Free, introduced and popularized the Quality Management Maturity grid. While the original grid reads “Quality”, think “Process” as in “Process Maturity”. This grid features five stages (from uncertainty in stage 1 to certainty and continual improvement in stage 5) and six quality management categories (ranging from management understanding to a summary of company quality (process) posture). The grid allows companies to conduct an analysis of their quality (process) management internally.

Continuing on the theme of development and improvement, the Process Maturity Model gave rise to the Capability Maturity Model (promoted by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI)), which is used in software development processes. Today, there are many variations on the same theme and guidelines for assessing Process Maturity Level.

Its Relationship with Lean and Six Sigma

Think it this way. Start at the top of the pyramid (or the bottom if you work in “bottom line” terms). The top of the pyramid is organizational success in regards to achieving goals – for example robust and durable profitability or maximum efficacy in achieving a mission for a non-profit. Process Maturity is just below that top of the pyramid. It’s a characteristic of your processes that enables achievement of those goals.

If Process Maturity is a characteristic or state then we need a method to get there. That’s where Lean and Six Sigma come in.  Lean and Six Sigma are approaches, strategies, and methods to get to Process Maturity. Process Maturity then serves as a measurement of the success of the application of those approaches and identifies vulnerabilities. It begs the question of what more may be needed in Lean and Six Sigma deployment so that they yield the desired results.

Why not unlock the keys to achievement? Invite NWCPE to visit your organization to assess its Process Maturity levels and support you in developing a roadmap to Process Maturity Level 5. Check out NWCPE’s Lean and Six Sigma programs to learn more about how they can help your organization achieve Process Maturity and successfully meet organization goals.

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