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  • Writer's pictureHenry Beasley

"Mastering digital maturity DIY-style"

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

A brief introduction to ‘Digital Maturity.’

Digital maturity is different for every organisation and is manipulated as a tool to sell products and services. Being told you have a low level of maturity can make you feel you are not where you need to be; it can introduce the idea of you being out of control and the feeling that you need to take action immediately to do something to change that.

We are developing ways to empower organisations to map their maturity, helping them identify milestones corresponding to their objectives. Typically, we see tech vendors and consultants directing the ‘maturity journey’, which will always be biased. Our vision is to provide tech leaders with simple tools to get their houses in order before they reach out and ask for external help, reducing the cost of the discovery phase.

One of our missions is to develop self-service tools and resources that will be easily accessible and consumable. The result empowers businesses to be self-sufficient and participate in an active community.

What maturity looks like for your business?

We are all different, so we must find a journey that works for us. Every company will have varied factors to consider, so do not get obsessed with how another business uses ‘X’ technology to mature; that is not how it works.

Three unique factors to consider when formulating your maturity map are your culture, customer and offering. Combining these factors presents radically diverse business operations and integration challenges.

You can start visualising how complex the ecosystem is; there are never-ending solutions to solve your operational and integration needs, so don’t obsess about comparing yourself to an ‘industry standard’. We have found that it can distract you from meeting the needs of your business.

Considering these factors, you can better appraise how to approach what you should include in your maturity journey and how best to measure this. You can find information online to help you, we started a podcast to help empower those looking to be more self-sufficient, it may be a helpful resource to check out “Not Another Tooling Podcast”

Where on earth are you?

Understanding where you are is more accessible than you may believe.

Where possible, avoid large-scale or drastic transformation programmes; those dramatic approaches can be counter-intuitive and may rapidly lead you to an out-of-control state. Be realistic. The environment you are changing is extremely complex, it is too expensive and unrealistic you will be able to outline

Do not be bamboozled into feeling you cannot figure it out yourself; you do not need to hand over the budget to an external team to “transform” your business. As soon as you agree to pay a group of people motivated to finish a project or to bill time, you have lost control of your budget, and the result is out of your hands.

In most cases, your company will not be able to consume change rapidly enough to meet the milestones advertised by your consulting partner. As a result, it leaves you in a position to either accept less value or pay more money; either way, your budget is in someone else hands. Within your culture, develop a mindset that you are going on a journey together as a team. Find as many champions to contribute to building your maturity map; you will be surprised by how many good individuals you already have at your disposal.

A better approach is to scope out specific work that can be broken down into consumable chunks. Your team can map these out to highlight where you need to enhance your internal capability to deliver scoped work. It may be essential to procure external expertise to meet your capability gaps, if you do procure additional help, make sure those roles are supporting your internal capability or you have hiring plans in place and you transition to a permanent role to sustain the value. If you need temporary resources and you can be sure you won’t need the same role again, then scope out the role and deliverables clearly; there should always be an exit plan.

Why are you in your current state?

It’s essential to build who you are into your definition of maturity so you can own it. But you also need to understand why you arrived here, try to answer these questions:

  • Define your strategic priorities: is it uplifting customer experience, providing better staff satisfaction, increasing revenue, or reducing cost?

  • Consider what makes your staff and business capability unique; how can you capitalise on their strengths, and how can you invest in upskilling them? What does that look like?

  • There is always something or ‘someone’ blocking fundamental growth and evolution. Can you draw a picture to identify what that looks like and how to mitigate it?

  • Can you measure the value of your previous investments? Did you get the value you expected, or were you mis-sold?

  • Why did you make previous decisions, what data did you use, and how did you consider who you were as an organisation to make the decision?

  • Have you got carried away with trends? Did outsourcing those jobs to teams in countries of drastically different cultures result in a good outcome, or has it drained your business?

Defining an honest picture of why you have arrived at this point in your journey will give you the information you need to map out the next steps of your maturity journey.

Reflect, rationalise and re-energise

Investing time into this activity is a bit like personal therapy; you are explaining your challenges, figuring out what you need to do differently, and developing tools to mitigate losing control in the future.

Get stuck in, research everything you can yourself and build your knowledge base to cut through the tech bullsh*t. Find business leaders focused on building their internal capability and determine what works for them. If an advanced shiny technology comes up in conversation, run a mile!

Don’t try to buy your way out of the pain; this environment is too complex to be solved with lots of money. Handing over the budget for a cutting-edge transformation plan or technology won’t solve everything, so avoid the golden bullet approach that will never realise the value advertised.

Here’s an actionable step to get started, everyone needs this and you can get started today

Define work in output style
  1. Document your business processes; check out this simple blog to help you, just use excel to start with -

  2. Document Management including Process Owners; check out this simple blog to get you started -

  3. Document where you can standardise or consolidate your processes; this should be a challenge you set for your team, they should capture current state and future state

Keep checking back in, we will be providing more helpful resources, catch you soon.



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