Maturity grids as tools for change management: Practitioner guidance through field experience

Anja Maier, James Moultrie, P John Clarkson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


    A maturity grid is a change management tool. Levels of maturity are assigned against aspects of an area under study, thus creating a grid. Text descriptions at the resulting intersections describe the typical behaviour exhibited by a firm for each area under study and from the basis for the assessment scale. It is a flexible assessment technique that is used by practitioners in industry, consultants and researchers in academia for diagnostic, reflective and improvement purposes. A large number of maturity grids have been proposed to assess a range of capabilities including quality management, software development, supplier relationships, R&D effectiveness, product development, innovation, product design, collaboration and communication. Each of these assessments focuses on a specific knowledge domain, and, as a result, is normally published in specialized journals relating to the domain addressed. Consequently, this body of work is characterized by a diversity of approaches, prescriptions and practices that can be confusing and sometimes contradictory. The purpose of this chapter is to present practitioner guidance for developing and applying maturity grids to assess organizational capabilities. Acknowledging that some compromise is necessary and appropriate in the interests of producing a useful and usable tool, this paper provides a set of four phases whilst the development process unfolds, namely: planning, development, evaluation and maintenance. A set of specific considerations to pay attention to is added to each phase, most notably the rationale underlying maturity levels to progress form an initial to a more advanced state. Further, this chapter gives two practice examples that describe our personal experience with developing and applying two different maturity grids: the Design Audit to assess product development capabilities and the Communication Grid Method to assess communication in product development. As maturity grid assessments are not just performance measures but also mechanisms for change, in developing and applying maturity grid assessments, the consultants’ role shifts from being ‘mere’ analysts to becoming facilitators and doers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Changing Paradigm of Consulting : Adjusting to the Fast-Paced World
    EditorsAnthony F. Buono, Ralph Grossman, Hubert Lobnig, Kurt Mayer
    Number of pages464
    Place of PublicationCharlotte, NC
    PublisherInformation Age Publishing
    Publication date2011
    ISBN (Print)978-1617354175
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    SeriesResearch in Management Consulting (RMC)


    • Maturity Model
    • Organisational change
    • Maturity Grid
    • Design management
    • New product development
    • Communication
    • Maturity Matrix
    • Performance assessment

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