Maturity, according to the Random House dictionary, is defined as full development or a perfected condition. In terms of project management, this relates to capabilities that can produce repeatable success in project management processes and to the skills that prevent common problems in project implementation (Schlichter, 1999). It also connotes the viability and strength of an organizational infrastructure that supports consistent success of projects.
There is no question that the maturity of a given team and the maturity of the parent organization of that team are closely linked to each other. It is highly unlikely that a mature team would survive in an immature organization. It would be equally surprising to find a very immature team within a very mature organization. However, it would be instructive to determine the maturity of a team as an entity separate from the maturity of the organization. If the maturity of the organization as a whole and the maturity of each team are determined independently of each other, the analysis of the resulting data will provide a wealth of information on best practices and enhancement opportunities. A maturity model, and its accompanying assessment tool, will enable the team to construct a program of continuous improvement. The maturity assessment will also assist the team in setting priorities for those immediate actions that are consistent with the team's current maturity level, typically expressed as one of five ascending levels of maturity (Figure 5.1).
Integrated, Focused, Defined
Consistent, Abbreviated, Repeatable
Ad Hoc, Basic, Inconsistent