How mature is your organisation’s approach to digital?

Nick Halliday is asking another of his interesting questions:

And here’s his Google Doc so far as he starts to answer it. I think the concept of a flexible, down to earth maturity model could be a really useful method for assessing how well an organisation is using digital across the breadth of its work, extending some of the principles GDS has published as part of the Digital by Default Service Standard (which is a bit more focussed on a specific service).

Readers with good memories will remember this was something I wrote about here too, about 18 months ago:

One topic I’d like to think about at this week’s UKGovcamp on Saturday (the ‘doing’ day) is whether we can come up with a way of thinking about public sector digital activity in terms of a maturity or capability model, that could be applied to help teams and individuals set goals and maybe even benchmark their effectiveness. For instance, it might:

  • Help teams to think about how sophisticated the organisation is at adopting and managing social media as part of official Communications and day to day communication

  • Provide some material for people thinking about their CMS features and procurement, to factor in the kinds of activities and processes those tools should be supporting in 2012

  • Offer insights into team size and structure, what the roles are in managing digital projects effectively (I’m deliberately not saying ‘digital communication’, for now)

  • Give everyone some ready-made benchmarks to help evaluate impact, and if not hard numbers, then at least an open-source process for getting to an assessment of digital effectiveness

We had a useful session at UKGovcamp 2012 (see the notes here) and I did a bit of thinking afterwards to try and structure it into a model, but it’s taken Nick’s recent question to get me to actually write it up.

So here’s my contribution to Nick’s call for ideas – a structure for a maturity model based on four areas of digital:

  1. Digital service delivery
  2. Corporate & marketing communiciations
  3. Social media engagement
  4. Internal communications and collaboration

Within each, the assessment (maybe a 1-4 scale?) would look at:

  • Vision
  • Process
  • Tools
  • Skills

And use a number of criteria or question areas to establish maturity:

  • Ownership & leadership
  • Strategy & planning
  • Technology
  • User focus
  • Embedded culture
  • Risk management
  • Community management
  • Openness

If you’ve got any thoughts or queries, do let me (or better still, Nick) have them.

Coming up with maturity model for digital in the public sector

maturity models

Hands up who says they work in ‘new media’? Me neither. While we’re not quite in a digital by default world, this stuff has been around for a decade and a half. Even in the public sector.

One topic I’d like to think about at this week’s UKGovcamp on Saturday (the ‘doing’ day) is whether we can come up with a way of thinking about public sector digital activity in terms of a maturity or capability model, that could be applied to help teams and individuals set goals and maybe even benchmark their effectiveness. For instance, it might:

  • Help teams to think about how sophisticated the organisation is at adopting and managing social media as part of official Communications and day to day communication
  • Provide some material for people thinking about their CMS features and procurement, to factor in the kinds of activities and processes those tools should be supporting in 2012
  • Offer insights into team size and structure, what the roles are in managing digital projects effectively (I’m deliberately not saying ‘digital communication’, for now)
  • Give everyone some ready-made benchmarks to help evaluate impact, and if not hard numbers, then at least an open-source process for getting to an assessment of digital effectiveness

I’ve got a small commission – a day’s paid time – from the digital team at the National Audit Office (update: actually, this was never actually used) to contribute towards managing the process of collating this, writing it up and sharing it for the benefit of their own team and others. We’d really appreciate input from a wide group on what a maturity model might look like – and indeed, whether it’s the best approach to take.

The idea would be to brainstorm at UKGovcamp, take the ideas away and write them up into a draft structure, get more feedback on them here, and then publish a methodology or framework of some kind under a Creative Commons licence for anyone to use and take forward. Hopefully we’d make it flexible enough to work for anything from a Whitehall department to a district council, and something that anyone who’s reasonably switched-on digitally can deploy without needing to bring in an expensive consultant (or even a reasonably-priced one).

Who’s up for helping with that?

UPDATE: Here’s the notes from the UKGovcamp discussion