Maturity is a measurement of the ability of an organisation for continuous improvement in a particular discipline (as defined in O-ISM3[dubious ]). The higher the maturity, the higher will be the chances that incidents or errors will lead to improvements either in the quality or in the use of the resources of the discipline as implemented by the organisation.
Most maturity models assess qualitatively people/culture, processes/structures, and objects/technology.
Two approaches for implementing maturity models exist. With a top-down approach, such as proposed by Becker et al., a fixed number of maturity stages or levels is specified first and further corroborated with characteristics (typically in form of specific assessment items) that support the initial assumptions about how maturity evolves. When using a bottom-up approach, such as suggested by Lahrmann et al., distinct characteristics or assessment items are determined first and clustered in a second step into maturity levels to induce a more general view of the different steps of maturity evolution. Topics that are covered in maturity models include:
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