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The ISO 15504 Capability Levels for Assessments

June 10, 2013
Process Assesments are critical to improve Services. Services are the result of the processes that support/deliver them. If we idenfity and improve certain specific activities, we will improve the final Service. For identifying what things we need to inmprove, the best option is performing a Processes Assesment against your Service Management System (SMS).

The ISO/IEC 15504 international standard is a framework for process maturity assesment and continuous improvement. During the process assesment, consultants can use ISO/IEC 15504 to analyze the process capability and meassure its key performance indicators. The result will be a standard meassure internationally recognized for the processes maturity involved in delivering the agreed Services to customers.

The processes evaluated will result in one of the following Capability Levels: incomplete, performed, managed, established, predictable or optimizing. Following I will explain each of them:

  • Incomplete (Level 0): there are no standards for process execution (some chaotic management). Organization in Level 0 depends on the motivation, competence and heroes inside their departments, but not in the correct use of proven best-practices.
  • Performed (Level 1): there are installed basic process management controls based mainly in the results/products. At this Level 1 maturity the process is like a black box with defined milestones (or checkpoints) on planning, monitoring and control of time, costs, functionality and quality.
  • Managed (Level 2): there is a management based on processes and work-products. The process boxes have become visible and it is been identified each of the activities that build the process. Also roles and responsibilities in the process are clearly defined.
  • Established (Level 3): there are formal predefined processes documented, implemented and communicated across the organization. These processes are tailored for specific use and according to their use of resources.
  • Predictable (Level 4): there are quantitative quality goals for both processes and services. The quality of the processes/services are predictable because they are measured and operated within quality limits (KPIs and SLAs). There is an input for decision making based on that information available.
  • Optimizing (Level 5): the organization proactively identifies weaknesses and strengths. There is a continuous strive to improve the processes and services capabilities, generating a better customer experience as a result.

Do you assess your processes against the ISO 15504 Capability Levels?