Build Your Drupal 8 Team: The Forrester Digital Maturity Model

June 15, 2015
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In business, technology is a means to an end, and using it effectively to achieve that end requires planning and strategy.

The Capability Maturity Model, designed for assessing the formality of a software development process, was initially described back in 1989. The Forrester Digital Maturity Model is one of several models that update the CMM for modern software development in the age of e-commerce and mobile development, when digital capability isn't an add-on but rather is fundamental to business success. The model emphasizes communicating strategy while putting management and control processes into place.

Organizations that are further along within the maturity model are more likely to repeatedly achieve successful completion of their projects.

Let's take a look at the stages of this model, as the final post in our Build Your Drupal 8 Team series.

Here are the four stages:

Stage 1 is ad hoc development. When companies begin e-commerce development, there is no defined strategy, and the companies' products are not integrated with other systems. Most products are released in isolation and managed independently.

Stage 2 organizations follow a defined process model. The company is still reactive and managing projects individually, but the desired digital strategy has been identified.

Stage 3 is when the digital strategy and implementation is managed. An overall environment supportive for web and e-commerce development exists, and products are created within the context of that environment.

In Stage 4, the digital business needs are integrated. Products aren't defined in isolation, but rather are part of an overall strategic approach to online business. The company has a process for planning and developing the products and is focused on both deployment and ongoing support.

The final capability level, Stage 5, is when digital development is optimized. Cross-channel products are developed and do more than integrate: they are optimized for performance. The company is able to focus on optimizing the development team as well, with continuous improvement and agile development providing a competitive advantage.

Understanding where your company currently finds itself on the maturity scale can help you plan how you will integrate and adapt the new functionality of Drupal 8 into your development organization.

If you are an ad hoc development shop, adopting Drupal 8 and achieving its benefits may be very challenging for you. You may need to work with your team to move up at least one maturity level before you try to bring in the new technology.

In contrast, if your team is at stage 5, you can work on understanding how Drupal 8 will benefit not just your specific upcoming project, but also everything else that is going on within your organization.

Resources:

  • A comprehensive SlideShare presentation on Digital Maturity Models.
  • A blog post by Forrester's Martin Gill that mentions the Digital Maturity Model in the context of digital acceleration.

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