Conducting an Effective Process Maturity Assessment: du Telecom Case Study

Want to understand your company’s strengths and areas for improvement? Here’s why you should be conducting process maturity assessments and how to do it. A case study from a Middle Eastern telecom.

My company, du telecom is the second largest telecommunications provider in the United Arab Emirates. A few years ago management decided that the company needed to become much more process driven to create an environment that promotes innovation, continuous improvement and maximizes business & customer outcomes. Processes would be the optimized and made more efficient and effective across the business.

We embarked on our process excellence journey beginning with a process maturity assessment. The assessment was undertaken in order to create an inventory of its strengths and areas for improvement and establish a common language for process metrics across the organization.

So, what is PMA?

A Process Maturity Assessment evaluates the attributes of a company’s processes to determine the process’ ability to consistently and continuously contribute to achieving organizational objectives. Processes with a high ability to contribute to these objectives, are considered mature.

PMA is also gives a company an indication of how close a developing process is to being complete and how "capable" it is of continual improvement.

The assessment provides a view of processes at a company level, which can be drilled down to a departmental view, functional view and process view. PMAs also give insight into which attributes in the process need improving so that real action can be taken in specific areas.

PMA is a qualitative assessment of all the processes of that department using an in-house built assessment model that is based on concepts of Capability Maturity Model integration (CMMI) and the David Fisher model of process maturity. We have aligned our assessment with David Fisher’s model of ‘The Five Levers of Change’.

Many organizations consider just three of these levers (People, Process, and Technology), but the other two are just as important in understanding the overall state and capabilities of the company. If the three "common" levers are out of alignment with the business Strategy of the organization, then the result will simply be very efficient processes that don’t provide positive or desired outcomes. If the three "common" levers are not viewed in the context of enterprise wide Controls and Governance, then the cohesiveness needed to achieve the desired results will never be achieved. The key to the Five Levers is the ability to achieve consistent alignment across all five. When that is achieved, then the organization is operating at a level where it can achieve optimal results.

Understanding Levels of Process Maturity:

The maturity level of the process is assessed by evaluating a set of attributes required to ensure that the process can optimally contribute to du’s business objectives.

The assessment is done on the following 10 attributes (having individual weights for each section) to determine a score (from 0 to 5) to reach a certain maturity level.





Process Documentation



Process Matrices (Ownership, RASCI, Authority)



Process KPI’s & SLA’s: Definition and Targets



Process Performance: Monitoring and Measurement



Process Deployment: Adherence



Process Resources and Tools for Continuous Improvement



Process Governance & Architecture alignment



Process Standards, Best Practice and Benchmarking



Process Change control



Process Risk Control


PMA methodology:

Each of the attributes has a set of questions (total = 67) against which the assessor evaluates the processes and checks for evidences to assign a score.

The final score is rolled up from process level to the department level and the PMA score is given for the department as well as the individual processes.

Since PMA is one of the common metrics introduced throughout the organization to measure the process "health" of the department, we introduced something called the PMA wheel to educate the employees.

We embarked on a Process Awareness campaign across the organization and spread the concept of PMA through a fun game where the facilitator explains PMA and the teams actually rate themselves on the PMA score. The PMA wheel is distributed to all the employees within the department (one can rotate the wheel to understand where the process attributes sit for each level).

Front view of PMA wheel:

Back view of PMA wheel

Sample Output Reports

Reports are produced at an individual process level and then rolled up to the department level highlighting the observations, gaps and providing recommendations (both short term and long term).

Beyond this, the Process Excellence (PE&TQM) team supports the department in reaching the desired maturity level by devising a roadmap and supporting them, wherever required.

Below are a few examples of the different types of reports that the PE&TQM teams produces:

Sample Inventory Summary Report - Departmental:

Sample Inventory Summary Report - Functional:

Sample Inventory Summary - Individual Process

Lessons Learned?

would be nice to add a few key lessons learned