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Maturity Models Benchmarking

Delivering Continuous Improvement with Scoring Survey

Nov 12, 2015 4:00:00 PM

While knowing where your organization stands in comparison to its peers is valuable, putting that knowledge into action is where you and your members truly reap the benefits of benchmarking. Studies that measure and score against common standards or industry best practices are a great way to assess progress and define performance standards. 

Scoring platforms commonly utilize best practices surveys and/or maturity models to measure compliance to established standards and best practices. Using a “behind the scenes” scoring mechanism, they provide an objective way for users to see how their answers align into pre-defined levels of maturity and point them toward resources to help improve individual performance. Industries and associations can use the collected data to develop content for training materials and programs, measure the effectiveness of standards, offer recognition or accreditation programs, assess competencies and more. 


The School Nutrition Association uses a scoring platform as an online self-assessment tool for its members. As schools struggle to balance budget issues and sourcing with new government meal standards, the Keys to Excellence Standards of Practice for Nutrition Integrity (Keys to Excellence) provides scores for key performance areas along with access to best practices resources to help improve those scores over time. Keys to Excellence also allows participants to look at how program changes in like districts have affected performance scores prior to implementing those changes in their own programs.


Both the Center for Association Leadership (ASAE) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) developed scoring and best practices platforms to assess and improve diversity and inclusion concepts, policies and practices.

ASAE’s Association Inclusion Index was the first online, diagnostic tool of its kind to allow associations to assess their progress in implementing diversity and inclusion practices within their association. Focused on five, key diversity and inclusion performance domains – Mission and Focus, Roles and Leadership Accountability, Resources, Operations, and Communication and Culture – the user answers a series of questions and receives a score indicating their performance in each domain. Additionally, these scores are explained in depth, and strategies and solutions for improving performance in each area are provided.

Very similar in its mission, the Accounting Inclusion Maturity Model Assessment was created to assist AICPA members in evaluating and assessing their diversity and inclusion practices and efforts in 4 core areas – Workplace, Workforce, Marketplace and Community. Participants receive a “score card” of their results as well as a full report on their diversity and inclusion maturity level and score in each assessment area that includes guidance and best practices for increasing their level of maturity in each area. 


Scoring platforms can put the power of benchmarking to work in a very immediate way for participants. These studies provide valuable insight into individual improvement over time as well as performance against industry standards and best practices. How can scoring improve your organization? Think about the measurable standards that your industry uses for improvement, and consider how providing comparison against a baseline measure can be used to drive improvement for your members. You’ll find that scoring data not only improves their performance, but will also increase your knowledge of the industry.