Maturity Models


Many maturity models and frameworks are in existence. This article provides an overview of capability maturity frameworks, that is, those frameworks that are based on or emphasise capabilities. I attempt to look at these frameworks from the perspective of the enterprise architect, that is, with a broader area of possible application than most of these frameworks were originally intended for.

The goal of maturity frameworks is to help organisations in quantifying excellence in a particular domain. The more extensive frameworks do not only that, but also offer guidelines or steps to improve that excellence, and provide growth paths towards greater excellence.

What is meant by “excellence” is very important to be aware of. Different frameworks may define excellence in totally disjunct ways. For example for the ISO-9000 series, excellence is more defined as “compliancy to standards in a repeatable way”, while for example CMMi is more geared towards “achieving maximum business value”. This implies that for an organisation to be level ISO-9000 certified it is very well possible that it is totally ineffective as a business (surviving in the marketplace), but at least it is ineffective in a controlled, quantified and repeatable way…

Overview of frameworks

The table below provides an overview of some maturity frameworks in existence today. Most are focussed on IT, but note that we are using these maturity models in a broader sense (for enterprise architecture), and they are evaluated as such. The “Abbreviation” links (if available) to the chapter on that framework. The “Link” goes to an external website with information on the framework.

Do you know any that should be on this list? I’d love to hear from you! (please use the comments below)

Abbreviation Name Link
CMMi Capability Maturity Model Integration CMMI | Overview
OPM3-N2C2M2 Organizational Project Management Grow up already!–An OPM3® primer
ITIL The IT Infrastructure Library
BS15000 -> ISO 20000 ISO 20000 ISO 20000 (Formerly BS15000 / BS 15000) Standard
BiSL Business Information Services Library BiSL®
COBIT Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies COBIT Wiki
MOF Microsoft Operations Framework Capability: ITIL/COBIT-Based Management Process
ASL Application Services Library ASL BiSL Foundation
IT-CMF IT Capability Maturity Framework IT-CMF | IVI Innovation Value Institute

In the next pages I will try to compile an overview of some of these frameworks in the light of their applicability for enterprise architecture.


An interesting new player in the field is IT-CMF.

The framework is maintained by IVI, the Innovation value Institute co-founded by the University of Maynooth, Ireland (NUIM) and Intel. The Dutch organisation TNO is also a board member of IVI.

The IT Capability Maturity Framework consists of:

  • 4 strategies (also called Macro Processes)
  • 33 capabilities (also called Critical Processes – CPs)
  • 5 maturity levels
  • assessment and benchmark tools
IT-CMF Macro Processes
IT-CMF Macro Processes

IT-CMF Strategies

  1. Managing IT like a business
  2. Managing the IT budget
  3. Managing IT for business value
  4. Managing the IT capability

Managing IT like a business

  1. IT Leadership & Governance
  2. Business Process Management
  3. Business Planning
  4. Strategic Planning
  5. Demand & Supply Management
  6. Capacity Forecasting & Planning
  7. Risk Management
  8. Accounting & Allocation
  9. Organisation Design & Planning
  10. Sourcing
  11. Innovation Management
  12. Service Analytics & Intelligence
  13. Sustainable Information & Communication Technology

Managing the IT Budget

  1. Funding & Financing
  2. Budget Management
  3. Portfolio Planning & Prioritisation
  4. Budget Oversight & Performance Analysis

Managing the IT Capability

  1. Enterprise Architecture Management
  2. Technical Infrastructure Management
  3. People Asset Management
  4. Knowledge Asset Management
  5. Relationship Asset Management
  6. Research, Development & Engineering
  7. Solutions Delivery
  8. Service Provisioning
  9. User Training Management
  10. User Experience Design
  11. Program & Project Management
  12. Supplier Management
  13. Capability Assessment & Management

Managing IT for business value

  1. Total Cost of Ownership
  2. Benefits Assessment & Realisation
  3. Portfolio Management


On first impression, IT-CMF is a lot like CMMi. It contains the same maturity levels, provides very similar auditing tools, and looks at maturity the same way.


The reason I take these two frameworks is because of their relevance to Enterprise Architecture.

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