WHAT IS A MATURITY MODEL?
Many industry associations today offer some form of competency-based assessments. Whether they are mandatory for professional accreditation or certification, or used as a tool for self-assessment or performance evaluation, qualitative studies that can measure one’s performance against a set of prescribed standards, commonly known as maturity models, are in great demand.
Maturity models are frameworks used to gauge an organization’s maturity in a number of areas and point out the areas needed for improvement. Maturity models are used to measure process or capability and can be developed to provide benchmarks for standards in these areas.
While it’s helpful to know where you stand in comparison to national standards or industry best practices, the data gleaned from maturity models can be leveraged for much more.
BENCHMARKING WITH MATURITY MODELS FOR DIVERSITY
Benchmarking studies are an excellent means of measuring performance, though measuring against more subjective standards, such as those found in the increasingly popular Diversity and Inclusion studies, can be challenging and time consuming without the proper tools. The award-winning Association Inclusion Index developed by Dynamic Benchmarking for ASAE creates an online, diagnostic tool for its members to assess their progress in implementing diversity and inclusion practices within their association.
Focused on five diversity and inclusion performance domains, 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.
MATURITY MODEL BENCHMARKING FOR LOCAL AND NATIONAL COMPARISON
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) took their maturity model a step further by adding a peer comparison feature in their benchmarking study. SNA’s platform deployed an online, self-assessment tool to assist its members in evaluating their performance in key areas.
Keys to Excellence: Standards of Practice for Nutrition Integrity assists schools in achieving nutrition integrity goals at the administrative, management, and operational levels. This tool, through its standards of practice and indicators, defines national standards for quality lunch programs and provides a framework for continuous program review, evaluation, and improvement. By establishing criteria in five key performance areas of Operations, Nutrition/Nutrition Education & Physical Activity, Administration and Marketing & Communications, the study allows districts to measure and compare their performance against national standards as well as data from individual programs.
The study has been very well received by SNA members and participating organizations. According to Becky Domokos-Bays, PhD, RD, SNS, the Director of Food and Nutrition Services with the Alexandria City Public Schools, “This tool provides a real opportunity for directors to demonstrate their strengths to school administration and determine their annual operational plan to be on the cutting edge of effective practices in our field.”
MATURITY MODELS TAKE YOUR STUDY TO A NEW LEVEL
Both ASAE and SNA have taken maturity models to the next level. Not only do they measure and compare key performance indicators, they provide immediate access to tools and resources for improvement to assist their members in acting quickly on the information provided to improve their performance.
The more you know about maturity models, the more effectively you can develop a study with KPI’s that will provide meaningful, actionable data to your members.