Tag Archives: maturity model

Maturity Model for Scrum

We’ve been talking about metrics and KPI’s and such at work quite a bit. But I’ve been so busy with so many things, I just couldn’t seem to get my head around it.

Then the other night, I was so frazzled, I decided to go out to my favorite steak place for a quiet dinner alone, not even a book or newspaper to read, just me with my own thoughts.  I placed my order, sank into my seat with a sigh, and suddenly the pieces of a maturity model were all in place. Before and after the salad course, I wrote the descriptions of levels of maturity below.

Note that a person could be different levels of maturity for different Scrum practices. Over time, we hope each member of our Scrum community reaches level 5 on all parts of Scrum.


Level  1 – Beginner: Do what you are told
The person is doing the practice because he/she is told to do so. There may be verbal direction or posters to remind the person to do the practice.

We measure: Is the person doing the practice consistently.

We measure at this level because we believe there is an intrinsic value in doing the practice even if it is not done well.

Think “Karate Kid” – wipe on, wipe off

We cannot explain to a person at this level why the practice is important because the person cannot understand the explanation. They have to experience the practice first.

If the person is complaining about doing the practice, the person is at Level 1.

Level 2 – Apprentice: Doing it by habit
The person is doing the practice as a habit.  There is no longer a need for verbal direction or posters as reminders.

We measure: Is the person doing the practice all the time without direction.

We measure at this level because we believe there is an intrinsic value in doing the practice habitually.

Think of someone who has been driving for a while – they no longer think about how to drive a car, they just do it.

The person has begun to value the practice because they have experienced it. Some explanation of why the practice is important will work because they have a basis of experience to understand the explanation.

If the person stops talking about the practice, the person is at level 2.

Level 3 – Journeyman: Improving your practice
The person is doing the practice well. The person has reached a level of understanding that makes them understand the benefits of doing the practice well, and they value the practice enough to want to improve it.

We measure: Is the practice performed with good quality.

We measure at this level because we believe there is greater value in doing the practice well.

Think of a young child constantly asking questions about things.

The person has good understanding of the practice, its importance and benefits. Deeper explanations of the practice are now possible because the person has reached a point of personally valuing the practice and is interested in learning more.

If the person is asking questions about how to do the practice better, the person is at level 3.

Level 4 – Teacher: Sharing what you know
The person is effectively teaching others to do the practice.  The person is able to teach others because the person has the experience and understanding to be able to effectively communicate the basics of how to do the practice as well and communicate the fundamentals of why it is important.

We measure: How effectively is the person sharing the practice with others.

We measure at this level because we want the practice to spread throughout the organization.

Think of Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society

The person has deep knowledge of and substantial experience performing the practice. The person is starting to learn about things related to the practice and understanding those relationships.

When you hear the person sharing their knowledge, the person is at level 4.

Level 5 – Master: You have gained profound knowledge
The person has gained profound knowledge of the practice to the point where the person can consider modifications to the practice because they understand it so well that they also understand other ways to get the same or greater benefits.The person can combine and correlate this practice with other experience to create new explanations, new understandings of the practice.

We measure: Is this person able to create consistent, coherent training and messages about this practice.

We measure at this level because we want to continue to evolve the practice.

Think Master Shifu in Kung Fu Panda.

The person has profound knowledge of the practice, its importance generically and to the organization, and the domain the practice is part of. The person writes the training and messages that others deliver.

You hear this person engage others in discussions about the deeper foundations of the practice.


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