Agile Maturity Models Explained

Editorial Team

A maturity model is a technique that assists individuals in assessing a person’s or group’s present effectiveness and determining what competencies they need to learn next in order to improve their performance. Maturity models are organized into a hierarchy of levels of effectiveness. Anyone in the field is believed to progress through the levels in order as they gain experience. You will fail if you try to move from level one to level five throughout your whole organization in one go. It might take years to change a huge corporation.

What is Agile Maturity Model?

The Agile Maturity Model is an internal tool that many businesses use to better understand their present practices and work toward improving them in order to improve their capacity to adapt to changes in the business environment and harness creativity.

By implementing the agile maturity model, a step at a time, the team has the capability to assess their processes, practices, and team values in order to enhance them. The team may also track their improvement by continuing to measure agility at regular intervals.

Levels of Maturity

The levels of the agile maturity model are defined using specific actions and behaviors that they might take to bring them to the next level in their adoption after performing some preliminary research and analysis to understand the starting position of your business. These levels may include Crawl, Walk, Run, and Fly-these terms are used in order to better understand the agile maturity level. 

1.    Stagnant

At this stage of agile maturity, the team either doesn’t understand or rejects Agile values and principles. The team is frequently “sluggish,” slow to turn, and has a difficult time delivering value rapidly.

  • The IT and business teams do not get along. Their relationship is acrimonious, and they frequently blame each other for their failures.
  • Either the project needs aren’t there at all, or they’re so large that they’re impossible for both the business and IT to comprehend.
  • Leadership is hierarchical and command-and-control. People are frightened of making mistakes. Therefore, they take their time making decisions. The measurements that are accessible are frequently utilized to penalize people.
  • Teams from several business domains compete to complete their initiatives.
  • Many people are dissatisfied with their work. They are anxious, overworked, and uninspired. There is a lot of bickering inside the organization.

2.    Crawl

The team is experimenting with one or more agile frameworks in small groups and has had some success. However, it is sometimes challenging since the teams using the framework lack managerial support and may regress.

  • Within areas of IT, an agile methodology such as Scrum is being used, but it is being done mechanically rather than adopting the Agile principles.
  • Teams aren’t following the best practices for achieving built-in quality.
  • The amount of work in progress is still too high. As a result, teams struggle to complete their job, and individuals bounce between tasks and are pulled in multiple directions.

3.    Walk

As a result of the achievements, management is beginning to support agile activities more. Other teams are witnessing success and want to be agile as well, so some agile scaling begins.

  • Teams are beginning to use a test-first strategy, which results in speedier development and higher-quality products. They’re beginning to put money into test automation.
  • The identification of flaws is a cause for celebration. It is widely accepted that this is how we learn and progress.
  • Risks and dependencies are properly handled.
  • Teams are aiming for reusability in their efforts.
  • Agile frameworks are starting to be tweaked to meet the organization’s needs.
  • People are becoming more aware of the Agile Principles and are beginning to put them into practice.

4.    Run

Small teams are allocated to projects, which provide a product or service in small, short-term pieces. The company evaluates its progress toward its plan on a regular basis and makes adjustments as needed. Teams are doing well.

  • The business architecture, strategy, and objective are well-known and widely communicated throughout the organization, ensuring that all teams are focused on the same goal and that projects may be reused.
  • Unsuccessful products are quite uncommon. When they do appear, however, they are viewed as chances to learn.
  • The company has developed its own ‘flavor’ of agile that suits its needs. They do, however, continue to make adjustments as needed.

5.    Fly

“I enjoy working here; I love my job,” is a common phrase heard throughout the company. Everyone knows the objective and has a natural motivation to strive toward it.

  • The entire company is focused on delivering consistent value.
  • Everyone is valued, variety thrives, and everyone considers themselves to be on an equal footing.
  • Metrics are deliberately utilized to encourage continual development.
  • Servant leadership is breaking down hierarchical barriers. It’s not always easy to figure out who’s in charge.
  • Because IT and business are considered “one,” teamwork is blossoming.

How to use the Agile Maturity Model

Your organization’s ultimate goal is to improve. The desired objectives are:

  • Reduced cycle time, which allows you to respond more quickly to changing organizational requirements and boost income.
  • Defects are reduced, allowing you to enhance your reputation while spending less on assistance.
  • Your product delivery lifecycle will be more predictable, allowing you to plan more effectively.
  • The capacity to adapt and sustain a compliance attitude toward any regulatory framework to which you are a subject.
  • The capacity to efficiently identify and manage product delivery risks.
  • Reduced expenses as a result of improved risk management and fewer product delivery difficulties.

Elements of the Agile Maturity Model

It is critical to cover all aspects of the software development, deployment, testing, and release process in order to reach your goal.

  • Build management and continuous integration are both concerned with building and maintaining an automated process that develops your application and conducts tests on every change before providing feedback to the entire team.
  • Hardware, infrastructure, networking, application stacks, external services, and their configuration make up an environment, which includes everything your application needs to run.
  • Forrester defines release management as “the definition, support, and enforcement of processes for preparing software for production deployment.” There are compliance issues in this sector, as regulatory compliance is typically one of the most stringent limitations on release management.
  • Testing ensures that software includes as few flaws as possible and adheres to non-functional criteria, whether through automated tests or human procedures such as exploratory testing and user acceptability testing.
  • Data management (typically, but not always, in relational databases) is an important element of the deployment and release process since it is a common source of issues when publishing or upgrading software.

Agile Maturity Model Assessment Areas

The assessment areas for the agile maturity model are grouped into nine areas.

  1. Technical craftsmanship – You must adopt current, rigorous technological methods in order to be genuinely agile in your business.
  2. Quality advocacy – this is the act of taking steps to guarantee that an agile team adheres to quality processes and standards in all of its activities. Quality advocacy is a whole-team approach to quality, unlike quality control, which verifies that once something is created, it was constructed correctly, and unlike quality assurance, which assigns responsibility for quality procedures to individual team members.
  3. User experience – it is very crucial to gauge the user experience while assessing the agile maturity model.
  4. Team dynamics – To quickly deliver high-quality products, an agile team must work closely together. As a result, they are always under pressure to improve how they work together, be honest in their self-evaluations, and re-evaluate how they operate together in order to improve. This includes technical (are they assisting each other in honing their skills?), social (do they like working together?), communication (do they communicate to settle conflicts?), and organizational (do they self-organize?).
  5. Product ownership – is the force that propels you to provide value to your users. In order to balance all of the variables that drive the choice of what to create next and how a smart product owner keeps in regular contact with the user community and product stakeholders. The product owner is also the principal point of contact for the development team, bringing order to the chaos generated by the numerous conflicting users and stakeholders’ voices.
  6. Project management – A project manager can serve as a valuable buffer, allowing the agile team to focus on the “correct” tasks while the project manager conforms to corporate standards.
  7. Risk management – Every project has certain risk factors, many of which are beyond your control. We have no influence over what you do with it. Almost everything done in agile is aimed at reducing risk. With spikes, technological concerns should be addressed early on, but decisions are postponed until the last possible minute to decrease the chance of making a mistake. Even with all this in place, you still need to manage the risks that are beyond or on the margins of your control.
  8. Organizational support – is about ensuring that agile teams get what they require from the company in order to succeed. An agile team must have the backing of the company that surrounds them in order to flourish. Without assistance, an agile team will rapidly get sidetracked and drown in the expectations of the company with which it is at odds.
  9. Change management – is about agile teams ensuring that the company has all it needs to work with and capitalize on the agile team’s accomplishments. Change Management guarantees that the rest of the company is aware of what the agile teams are doing and why they are doing it. It enables other individuals and departments to comprehend their roles in the agile process, as well as how they interact with these new, disparate teams. It also enables individuals to comprehend how their employment may change without worrying about losing their jobs, which may occur when changes are made that people are unaware of.

Steps to Implement the Agile Maturity Model

The following steps are based on the Deming cycle: plan, do, check, and act.

  1. Determine where your company fits into the model. It’s possible that various parts of your company attain different levels in each of the categories.
  2. Choose what you want to focus on. You should figure out what enhancements you might be able to make, how much they’ll cost, and what advantage they’ll provide. Then you pick a few enhancements to make and figure out how to put them into action. Set acceptance criteria to outline the outcomes you want to observe so you can determine whether the modifications were effective.
  3. Changes should be implemented. First, figure out how you’ll put the modifications into action. You may want to begin with a proof of concept. If that’s the case, pick an area of your company that’s truly hurting—these individuals will be the most motivated to make changes, and you’ll see the most dramatic results there. Then, of course, you must carry out your strategy.
  4. Check to see if the adjustments you made had the desired result. Make use of the approval criteria you established. Hold a review to see how successfully the modifications were implemented.
  5. Repeat these stages as needed, adding to your expertise. Continue to bring out modest changes across your whole business.


The important element to remember is that the real conclusion of a maturity model evaluation is a list of things you need to focus on to develop, not the level you are at. Your current level is only a bit of intermediate work to help you figure out what abilities you need to learn next.

Finding the improvements that will provide the most value and figuring out how to put them in place should be considered as a priority. Create a hypothesis and then test it scientifically. It’s a good idea to repeat the procedure and learn from it. Regardless of how good you are, there is always room for improvement. Don’t give up if something doesn’t work: try something different.