Installing a software application doesn't instantly confer all of the benefits of increased efficiency and process streamlining as outlined in the marketing material. The larger and more complex the system, the more that is required from an organization implementing it to realize the benefits and return on investment. The Microsoft 365 platform is a vast ecosystem encompassing multiple products, and fully utilizing its features goes way beyond just knowing how to operate the software. The Microsoft 365 Maturity Model is a framework used to assess an organization's business processes and cultural readiness to embrace the 365 platform. This course outlines that framework and how it is applied to gauge an organization's level of preparedness to achieve maximal benefit from the Microsoft 365 range of applications and services.
- Learn what the Microsoft 365 Maturity Model is
- Learn how the Microsoft 365 Maturity Model works
- Learn how the Microsoft 365 Maturity Model is applied
This course is intended for students who want to know about the Microsoft 365 Maturity Model and its use. Students who plan to take the MS-600 exam: Building Applications and Solutions with Microsoft 365 Core Services need to know about the 365 Maturity Model and its relevance to an organization's business processes and culture.
Students must be acquainted with the Microsoft 365 suite of products and services. You don't need to know about every aspect of the 365 platform in-depth, but you should know the intended use of each product and service.
Many non-technical people working in organizations using Microsoft 365 products like office and Outlook probably don't think much beyond creating documents, spreadsheets, and emails. Even if they use teams and SharePoint, they are probably unaware of the full potential of these products, especially when fully integrated and used together. Simply buying and installing software won't lead to increased productivity and efficiency.
Aside from staff being able to use the software to get the most from it, the underlying processes need to be standardized. Data needs to be complete, organized, and easily accessible by the relevant people. Having been in the workforce for some time, I can safely say that on the spectrum of complete shambles to perfectly organized and documented, most companies fall pretty much in the middle, with smaller ones tending to operate at a level of organized chaos.
If organizations can't realize and leverage the full potential of their systems, they won't see the value of it, won't recommend the software to others, and won't purchase additional features. The Maturity Model for Microsoft 365 is a tool for categorizing an organization on various metrics relating to Microsoft 365 readiness. Put another way, how much work will be needed to get a company's systems and processes to such a state that they will get maximum, or at least significant, benefit from Microsoft 365 products.
The Microsoft 365 Maturity Model is based on the Capability Maturity Model, where maturity is related to how formalized and documented a company's processes and procedures are. Undocumented, ad-hoc, and reactive processes characterize level one, the initial or juvenile state. Procedures can vary depending on who is performing them, and processes tend to have a high manual component. Level 2 documents some processes, but the documentation isn't standardized and varies from project to project. The environment is still chaotic and reactive. Level 3 marks a step-change in an organization's maturity and is usually related to size and age.
To put it bluntly, there is an acknowledgment that the chaos can no longer be managed effectively. Formalized documentation is required, and processes need structure and to be proactively managed. Level 4 introduces process measurement. Having baseline measurements helps an organization objectively evaluate process performance and efficiency. Quantitatively measuring and managing standardized processes demonstrates a commitment to consistent quality outcomes. Finally, the holy grail is a state of continuous improvement, where processes are optimized for best effectiveness and efficiency. Typically, level 5 will have the highest level of process automation.
Let's look at how the Capability Maturity Model has been transformed into the Maturity Model for M365. The level numbers are multiplied by one hundred, allowing mid level classification where an organization might fall between levels on some metric. Level descriptions have been updated to reflect a software orientation, and the addition of keywords to give a more visceral sense of what each level feels like to operate in.
An optimal, systematic, automated, and assured environment is much better than an uncontrolled, chaotic, and unstable one. You'll notice that the model is agnostic with no reference to specific software products. It's worth mentioning that while Level 500 is a laudable goal, it isn't suitable for all organizations, or more precisely, not worth the effort or overhead for smaller companies with fewer, simpler processes.
Hallam is a software architect with over 20 years experience across a wide range of industries. He began his software career as a Delphi/Interbase disciple but changed his allegiance to Microsoft with its deep and broad ecosystem. While Hallam has designed and crafted custom software utilizing web, mobile and desktop technologies, good quality reliable data is the key to a successful solution. The challenge of quickly turning data into useful information for digestion by humans and machines has led Hallam to specialize in database design and process automation. Showing customers how leverage new technology to change and improve their business processes is one of the key drivers keeping Hallam coming back to the keyboard.