Whitepapers & Articles

MATURE: an Assessment which Changes an Organization

Repeating successful behavior is a critical survival skill, recommended in quite some performance improvement methods. At the same time, the world around us changes, which creates a tension between repeating the habit and adapting. Whether this gap is huge or not is often a question of perception, which needs objective measurement. Your organization is asking for an external boost to consider change and improvement. But mind not to launch any kind of devastating audit on your people which destroys more than it builds: useless comparison with theoretical models, pinpointing unrealistic goals, big brother approach, the “knows-it-all” auditor, evaluation of procedures rather than results realized in-the-field …

Any assessment should be focusing on your organization and your people and laying the basis for performance. An organizational assessment has the basic objective to implement precisely that change which will create more value than the habit or chaos it replaces. There are some critical considerations which the assessment method shall need to consider, essentially related to the people aspect: change means changing the (real) behavior of people, trust and justification of the change are critical to realize improvement and change needs to enhance the expertise level of an organization.

Demets&Heuskin works since over a decade with its MATURE™ method to perform organizational assessments which realize these objectives.

First of all, MATURE™ involves directly key players from your organization from the start. Data and information collection is performed through interviews and workshops. Besides the accuracy and reality level of the acquired information, these sessions make people think about their own job and performance and initiates openness to change. Also reporting is organized interactively by workshops, which are split. First, agreement needs to be achieved on the observations, the problem definition, the challenges and priorities. Only then we can propose and discuss improvement and action planning which is effective.

Secondly, MATURE™ remains a method fully based on the maturity assessment principles, providing measurable and accountable results about process capabilities and the outcome guarantees your organization can provide. The scaling on a maturity level implies directly a set of potential recommendations based on maturity principles and provides insight in priorities to be set first. Evidently, these are not to be translated blindly into an action list, but it provides justifiable and objective input for developing an improvement and change approach.

Finally, MATURE™ identifies very precisely all the proceedings, methods, habits and so on which produces satisfying results. Many assessment approaches neglect the importance of observing the expertise of an organization, its capability to perform and the expertise of its people. These elements are precarious for continuity and are the building blocks of higher performance. Each recommendation and consequently each change needs careful consideration regarding the risk of deteriorating existing capabilities.

MATURE™ approach has been applied to many business activities: IT, customer care centers, financial operations, life insurance, sourcing, purchasing, Human Resources …

Some business cases are available on this website.

Feel free to contact us to analyze what MATURE™ can bring to your organization.

Marnik Demets

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6 Tips for Suppliers' Evaluation

Outsourcing business processes is a trend since decades. It produces quite some benefits on cost management, centralized expertise, economies of scale of investment and operations and allows the outsourcing organization to focus entirely on its own unique selling proposition. On the other hand, it creates a whole new risk for the organization and shifts the power from operational management to sourcing management. This induces a substantial shift in competencies and organization.

One essential step in outsourcing is suppliers’ evaluations, which encompasses the simultaneous application of audit techniques, scoring, evaluation, actions planning and maturity assessment. Here are x tips to fundamentally improve the effectiveness of suppliers’ evaluations

1. Look for how your objectives will be realized
Outsourcing can have multiple reasons and should fit in a sensed strategic approach of your company. Whether you will look for basic cost reduction, skills development, industry practice input, leveraging quality, economies of scale or any other strategic benefit, the key elements you will have to evaluate are fundamentally different.

2. Look for best-fit instead of highest quality
Highest quality is expensive because it produces lots of features which are never used. Reduce to a limited number of key performance indicators you are looking for and define your level of requirement which is not necessarily the industry standard.

3. Monitor the maturity level of you supplier(s)
Especially when it comes to services, you need to focus the mastership your supplier has over the inputs, activities and relationships which produce the required results. Evidently, you do not have to accept lousy results, but the key question remains the confidence your supplier can provide you to produce better on next occasion.

4. Experience is one thing, the future is another
A common mistake is to lay too much focus on past experiences, while your situation and need is likely to be different. The capability of your potential supplier to adapt to your needs is more important than how much the other clients were satisfied.

5. Audit the critical means for your satisfaction
Promise is one thing, proof of capabilities is better. Auditing your suppliers can be fastidious, so you need to focus on the critical elements which your surely need to be assured off. The more you audit, the higher the cost and … the better your supplier shall know your audit approach to proof what you want to see.

6. Measure at the right granularity
Measuring is always a fine balance to find between rigorous collection and analysis of data and meaningfulness. You need to find the right balance, assisted by the previous tips, between trust in the capabilities of your supplier and eloquent indicators. Keep in mind the standard deviation of your measurement too!

The general hint is not to substitute to your supplier in your quest for controlling everything, which is the best guarantee not to benefit from the value of outsourcing. Purchasing services and goods is a specific job, with another focus than team management!

Marnik Demets
Managing Director

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Business and People Excellence

Although the strategic value of people management is undisputed, the subject lacks coherent and holistic business models for reference. The BPE model fills the gap pragmatically and maturity-based.

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