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What happens to organisations who fail to measure themselves against the four quadrants before they act?

Role of IT Within an organisation

Discussing how our our Assessment model’s four quadrants flag the highest priority IT investments

Two weeks ago we introduced the Measurement Quadrants that underpin Majestic’s 5 level Organisational Maturity Model.

  • Process
  • People
  • Customer
  • Growth
 

These four quadrants are used as a measurement tool to help an organisation determine where they are on the maturity scale. However, they have an additional purpose – they also flag our highest priority IT investments. As such, today we return our attention to those four quadrants, but with a different perspective. What happens to organisations who fail to measure themselves against the quadrants before they act?

Without the measurement quadrants, organisations will tend to prioritise their investments on areas of the business that are already doing well. The areas that are not are often left to drop further and further behind in terms of investing. Or alternatively, a push to fix the ‘squeakiest wheels’ mean the areas causing the most disruption get the attention, but that also may not be to the organisation’s advantage. Either way, poor choices are made and money is wasted. It is only when all four quadrants have been assessed, measured and defined that an organisation can consistently make IT investment decisions that will deliver the required outcomes.

Digital Leader Pearl Zhu highlights the fact that digitisation is no longer just an element of the business that affects the IT department – it’s now an all-encompassing, major player in the overall success or failure of an organisation’s operational success.

We looked at what happens to organisations that fail to assess their maturity across the 4 quadrants of the Majestic Organisational Maturity Model. When we talk about an organisation’s maturity, it must be assessed across all four quadrants. The first quadrant is Process. Elements to look at when assessing your process maturity include:

  • Are processes clearly documented and is that documentation readily accessible?
  • How well are the steps being followed?
  • Where possible, are steps automated?
  • What are the handoffs between steps / between processes?

The next quadrant is your organisation’s People.

  • What is your staff turnover like?
  • Are your team frustrated by other elements in the quadrant that aren’t performing as well as they should?
  • What is your organisation’s culture?

Our third quadrant is also people focused, but it’s the people outside the organisation – the Client Retention. Note that ‘client’ can be used in a variety of contexts, including patients, members etc.

  • What is the organisation doing for its clients?
  • Is it easy for them to interact with you?
  • How do you assist them to ensure that they continue to move in the right direction?

And finally, the last quadrant that we look at is growth.

  • What is your organisation aiming to achieve?
  • What are your aspirations?
  • What goals are set over what period(s) of time?
  • Ultimately, how will technology be applied in order to get there?

Once a full assessment has been undertaken across the quadrants, any skewing or stretching becomes apparent. For example, an organisation that has invested heavily operationally may not have paid as much attention to its people. Or alternatively, they may have chosen to invest in their people, but then forgotten about their client retention strategy. So, the organisation ends up with a somewhat skewed maturity. They might be at a level one or level two in an Operational context, but at a three in the context of their Client Retention. They might be a two on their People strategy, and then a one again in terms of their growth.

Although not ideal, this skewing has an upside – it shows which areas of the business require the highest priority attention in order to align the quadrants effectively. When you make an investment in the wrong area before you try to align those four quadrants, money gets misspent. Time and time again we see organisations investing in areas that aren’t going to yield the best outcome, because their organisation is simply not ready for it. They’re investing at the wrong time or in the wrong area because all of four of those quadrants aren’t considered. So the investment doesn’t deliver the right outcome and that’s an expensive mistake.

Choosing and investing in the right new technologies for your organisation can be difficult. Accenture’s article ‘Getting the most out of new technologies’ describes how CEOs can strategically implement innovative technologies to generate a significant return on their investment.

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