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A business must benchmark its maturity in order to progress. Possessing the information of whether or not your organization is maturing or standing in place is essential. For this purpose, you need a fine measuring system, one that will also allow for detailed comparison to the organizations of your competition, strategic partners, or even your clients.
Financial measuring tools can be helpful in verifying the maturity of your organization, but they are not part of the core determinant of its maturity. To state it another way, financial position and strength do not maturity make. To properly measure the organizations maturity, you can utilize a system I developed, called the Business Maturity Index.
The BMI is a scoring and grading tool that is based on ten Value Aspects, further reduced to five success elements. Finally, the BMI of a business can be identified in the form of a number between 1.00 and 5.00.
This index is basically a simplified form of the popular Capability Maturity Model that was first conceived as a concept in the 1970s. This universally accepted model can be adapted to all kinds of systems and processes, as well as organizations. For businesses and organizations, this model is applied in the form of a Business Maturity Index. As such, it can be used to understand the maturity and growth of a business, as well as serve as a benchmark for comparison between different organizations (based on score).
The 10 aspects of any business or organization that result in value creation and that must be continuously managed are:
The Value Aspects are further separated into five success elements:
There are five levels of maturity for each Success Element within each given Value Aspect:
Score each of the Success Elements from Level 1 to Level 5. Do this for each Value Aspect of the business. Next, tally up and average the score for each Value Aspect. This is the Maturity Level for that Value Aspect. [Note: Each Value Aspect has its own maturity level; this information will be useful later, so keep track of the individual scores.] Finally, average all the Value Aspect scores together to get the overall Business Maturity Index. What level are you at?
Depending on your company and its main function, the business Value Aspects will have a different order based on priorities. However, this does not mean that you should neglect or ignore any one value aspect for another. Without the necessary symmetry and balance within your organization, you cannot truly get the business to the next level. This means keeping the maturity of any given Value Aspect within the same level of all the others. Find one aspect out of range and I promise you, this will be your problem child when executing on strategy.
The BMI is a gauge of your organization’s maturity and thus can be used to measure your progress as you execute on business strategy. It can help you keep balance in your organization as you develop business strategy. It can also be used to gauge your organization’s maturity versus your competition, strategic partners, and even your clients.
Of course, your competition is not going to figure out their BMI score and then hand it over to you for comparison, but you certainly can point it at them with some degree of certainty. Your strategic partners, and your clients, may very well share their score.
What you need to know is this: You should be partnering with other companies that have a similar maturity to you, or slightly higher. And you should be taking on clients that are at least as mature as you are, if not slightly more mature. In doing so, you’ll find that the company your organization keeps will always push (or pull) you to get to the next level.
Manuel Palachuk is the author of the book Getting to the Next Level: A Blueprint for Taking You and Your Business to the Top and the coauthor of The Network Migration Workbook, the definitive guide to zero downtime network migrations. He has more than 30 years of business, management, and training experience in the computer and electronics industries, including owning and managing successful IT and managed service provider companies. He's a well-known speaker and trainer at industry conferences, and he holds degrees in electrical engineering technology and automated manufacturing technology.
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