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Process Auditing – how to assess process maturity

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During my daily duties I very often need to investigate the maturity of a process, such an action can be called the process audit. In the world of IT management, there are many models or frameworks that can help to assess the maturity of the organization or processes, for example: CMM, CMMI, COBIT, ITIL (the tool “ITIL process maturity self assessment”), P3M, OP3 (maturity of project management), etc.

However all of them are specific (created exactly for one particular area). But how to audit maturity of process that doesn’t  which does not fall within one of the frameworks?

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The solution to this problem may be a tool developed by the guru of process management – Michael Hammer, which was published in the article “The Process Audit” in the „The Process Audit” in  Harvard Business Review nr 4/2007 – if you are not a subscriber of HBR, you can buy the article for just $ 6,50.

Hammer created its utility PEMM –(Process and Enterprise Maturity Model) in the form of two sheets:

The first sheet: describes the factors enabling the implementation of processes

The second sheet: describes the maturity of an organization

According to Hammer elements that enable the effective implementation of processes are:

  • Design of process
  • Performers
  • Process owner
  • Infrastructure
  • Metrics

However, these factors are not sufficient for an organization to develop high-performance processes. There are needed also so-called enterprise capabilities, which are:

  • Leadership
  • Culture
  • expertise in process modeling processes
  • Governance

The PEMM tool allows us to determine what enterprise capabilities or process enablers should be developed first for processes to be effective. The utility is able to identify the areas which are blocking the increase of process efficiency. What’s more the tool is simple and fairly intuitive to use and is being used in many organizations throughout the world. Before you think about using ‘heavy’ tools like CMMI, try the PEMM tool first. I’m recommending it.

Maybe following links can be useful for you:

Comments (4)

  • hi
    I like your comments

    How do you see the auditing of IT processes fitting into other forms of auditing eg for ISO 9001 & ISO 14001 ?

    And considering that more document control systems for ISO 9001 & ISO 14001 are now electronic and not paper based ?

    So how should IT processes reflect the governance requirements of ISO 9001 & ISO 14001 ?

  • I think that the most significant differnce between this tool and “ISO approach” is that “ISO auditing” is about compliance of the work done with procedures and the standard itself (efficacy) but it says almost nothing about efficiency and effectivness of the process.

    It’s the differnece between doing things right and doing right things effectively

  • When we need to assess maturity of a process not well covered in the existing maturity frameworks, we tend to pick:
    1. Generic Practices of CMMI
    2. BPMM (OMG’s maturity model)

    Roeland Loggen

  • This is an interesting topic since I agree process auditing and process execution goes hand in hand. However, many organizations struggle with process execution, let along auditing them. Whether you’re a mature or immature process IT organization, driving process with technology, such a PIEmatrix is one of the best ways to keep a handle process creation, execution, governance, and self-auditing. As for auditing, we suggest you view that as a project in itself that would be repeated over and over. See for a view on what a process collaboration platform looks like.

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