Business Process Maturity

Process Maturity

Many companies struggle with disparate and inefficient business processes, which not only hinder process excellence but also impede performance, delay progress, and stifle innovation.

Process maturity is a critical measure of how well-defined and controlled a company’s processes are. A high level of process maturity indicates that processes are well-documented, employees are trained and compliant with procedures, and continuous improvement is ingrained.

As process maturity increases, companies experience improved productivity, enhanced agility and visibility to adapt to market changes, streamlined workflows, increased profitability, enhanced security, and improved user experiences.

I follow a straightforward 5-step Process Maturity Model, developed by Michael G. Beason and used by the Supplier Excellence Alliance (SEA):

  • PM Level 1: Processes have a name, are defined, and have an owner.
  • PM Level 2: Processes are documented to the work instruction level, ensuring tasks are consistently completed efficiently.
  • PM Level 3: Certified trainers deliver standardized training.
  • PM Level 4: Processes are controlled, analyzed, and improved using data.
  • PM Level 5: Continuous improvement trends benchmark at world-class levels.

Business processes are pivotal in how companies organize and manage value-generating activities. Well-designed processes that encourage teamwork and accountability indicate high process maturity, leading to improved product quality, customer satisfaction, cost efficiency, and more.

Low Level vs. High Level Process Maturity:

Low Level

High Level

    • Teams create processes on an ad hoc basis.
    • Processes are mapped, approved and documented.
    • Teams create processes on an ad hoc basis.
    • Teams consistently follow documents procedures,
    • Processes include time-consuming steps that could be automated but aren’t.
    • All process steps that can be automated are automated.
    • Processes are rigid and unchanging.
    • Processes are innovative, and teams update them regularly.
    • Employees are reactive and prone to firefighting and heroics; they are slow to respond to market changes.
    • Employees are proactive; they anticipate problems and market changes and use them to their advantage.
    • Teams sacrifice quality in order to meet quotas.
    • Management officially supports process improvement efforts.


Assess your company’s Leadership & Culture processes using this self-assessment document.

Leveraging the process maturity model is your first step towards defining your current position and achieving process excellence goals.

If you’re unsure of where to start or want to gauge your organization’s readiness for process improvement initiatives, schedule a complimentary 60-minute Business Success Strategy call with me.