The Scrum Maturity Model

There has been a quest for an “Agile Maturity Model” going on for some time now.

  • Are we Agile?
  • How Agile are we?
  • Where should we improve?
  • Can we get a certification that will convince our customers that we are agile?

The Scrum Maturity Model can be seen in relation to this generic maturity model.Source: Wikimedia Commons | CC BY SA 3.0

The Scrum Maturity Model can be seen in relation to this generic maturity model. Image from Wikimedia. Used under CC BY-SA 3.0.

The answer to this ranges from a simple questionnaire to a full blown “Agile Maturity Model”. Today I will have a brief look at the “Scrum Maturity Model” proposed in a recent thesis.

The Scrum Maturity Model

The scrum maturity model (SMM) is supposedly “an applicable, useful and viable approach to reduce the failed development projects rate within the evaluation set of organizations.” The SMM, like the capability maturity model (CMM), has five levels.

SMM – Level 2

  • E.1 Goal: Basic Scrum Management
  • E.1.1 Objective: Scrum Roles Exist
  • E.1.2 Objective: Scrum Artifacts Exist
  • E.1.3 Objective: Scrum Meetings Occur and are Participated
  • E.1.4 Objective: Scrum Process Flow is Respected
  • E.2 Goal: Software Requirements Engineering
    • E.2.1 Objective: Clear Definition of Product Owner
    • E.2.2 Objective: Product Backlog Management
    • E.2.3 Objective: Successful Sprint Planning Meetings

    SMM – Level 3

    • F.1 Goal: Customer Relationship Management
    • F.1.1 Objective: Definition of ”Done” exists
    • F.1.2 Objective: Product Owner available
    • F.1.3 Objective: Successful Sprint Review Meetings
  • F.2 Goal: Iteration Management
    • F.2.1 Objective: Sprint Backlog Management
    • F.2.2 Objective: Planned iterations
    • F.2.3 Objective: Successful Daily Scrum
    • F.2.4 Objective: Measured Velocity

    SMM – Level 4

    • G.1 Goal: Unified Project Management
    • G.1.1 Objective: Unified Project Management
  • G.2 Goal: Measurement and Analysis Management
    • G.2.1 Objective: Measurement and Analysis Management

    SNMM – Level 5

    • H.1 Goal: Performance Management
    • H.1.1 Objective: Successful Sprint Retrospective
    • H.1.2 Objective: Positive Indicators


    Can the SMM help you? If you read this you are probably aware that Maturity Models is a highly inflamed topic. They are seen as stupid and signs of immaturity. But according to the creator of the scrum maturity model:

    […] and the present dissertation verified that Scrum can benefit from a maturity model. It was verified that Scrum Maturity Model succeeds as the roadmap for small-medium organizations that seek selfimprovement and guidance, a self-evaluation model to rethink actual Scrum adoption for specific organizations, and a model to classify and compare the maturity of organizations for benchmarking purposes.

    The SMM and other MM:s are based on some kind of assumption of uni-dimensionality and linearity. In a very interesting article by Michaelides et al this whole concept is picked apart as they show with statistical methods that these concepts are multi-dimensional and non-linear. (In their case they looked at XP “fidelity”.)

    The scrum maturity model could use a sense of multidimensionality. Source: NASA | Wikimedia Commons | PD

    The scrum maturity model could use a sense of multidimensionality. Published by NASA and used as Public Domain.


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    This post received some editorial updates on 2014-01-01.

    Image sources

    About Greger Wikstrand

    Greger Wikstrand, Ph.D. M.Sc. is a TOGAF 9 certified enterprise architect with an interest in e-heatlh, m-health and all things agile as well as processes, methods and tools. Greger Wikstrand works as a consultant at Capgemini where he alternates between enterprise agile coaching, problem solving and designing large scale e-health services ...

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