IT Service Management (ITSM) process maturity assessments, based upon ITIL® best practices, are one of our core services.  We regularly engage with customers who need to baseline the current level of maturity of their ITSM ITIL® processes, but they either don’t know where to start, or they want a quick, preferably free, view of their maturity.  In this blog, I want to lay out, why a “quick” assessment is possible, but a free one probably isn’t the best route to take, particularly if it’s a self-assessment.

Free ITSM / ITIL ® Process Maturity Assessment download

In a previous role, we had a free assessment, which we made available on our website for download.  Thousands of people obviously did a Google for “ITSM / IT / ITIL® Process Maturity Assessment questionnaire”, found this document, registered their details, and downloaded the Excel spreadsheet.

The spreadsheet contained about 8 questions for each ITSM/ITIL® process, and asked users to provide a score between 0 and 5, based upon their view of how “true” the statement was. 0 represented “completely untrue”, and 5 represented “completely true”, with some “largely” and “partially” ratings sprinkled in between.

Having completed the questionnaire, a separate tab in the spreadsheet drew a Spider diagram, representing an aggregated view of their process maturity, based upon the answers they had provided.

Does any of this sound familiar?  You’ve probably done something similar, perhaps at work, or maybe in an idle moment, reading Hello magazine or similar!

Why the Free ITSM / ITIL® Process Maturity Assessment download didn’t work!

There were a few issues with this approach:

  • The same questionnaire was used for ALL organisations, regardless of their size, complexity, industry, etc. How can this one standard questionnaire be suitable for all of them?
  • There was no opportunity to prove or corroborate the answers given. The person completing the assessment could have provided any score he wanted, and proudly showed his boss the resulting Spider diagram from an independent assessment!
  • The scope of the assessment was one dimensional. It only covered the ITIL®/ ITSM processes at a very superficial level.  It didn’t look at other critical aspects, such as tools, governance, suppliers, and most critically of all, people, organisation and culture
  • The recommendations were next to useless. For example, if you responded to the question regarding incident prioritisation with zero, you received a recommendation to improve incident prioritisation.  There was no mention of how, no suggestions based upon the needs of the organisation
  • The recommendations were not prioritised in terms of importance, priority or benefit. There was no basic sequencing, no improvement roadmap.  The user had absolutely no idea where to start.  Where he’d get the biggest bang for his buck, or how much effort it might take to implement.

As you can see, there were some pretty fatal flaws.  However, it was extremely popular, probably because it was free, simple and didn’t result in any adverse press for the poor IT department and its staff.

What are the alternatives?

Since this experience, I’ve sought to follow one simple rule.  “Always do what’s best for the client”.  This means that all of our assessment work follows a standard methodology, but it’s tailored to the needs of the organisation.  It recognises their complexity and the outcomes they’re looking to achieve.  Critically, it’s thorough and provides an actionable improvement roadmap that the client can either follow themselves or engage further help to implement.

So, if you’re looking for a free ITIL® / ITSM process maturity questionnaire, you won’t find one on our website.  However, I’d encourage you to take a look at our approach to assessment.  I’m sure you’ll agree it provides far more value than a free questionnaire could possibly achieve.

If you wish to discuss your specific IT process maturity requirements, then please get in touch.  We’d be delighted to hear about your challenges and how an assessment might help.