Developing an Enterprise Collaboration Maturity Model Research by krj18645


									        Developing an Enterprise Collaboration
       Maturity Model: Research Challenges and
                  Future Directions
           Iker Martinez de Soria, Juncal Alonso, Leire Orue-Echevarria, Mikel Vergara
     ESI-Tecnalia, Parque Tecnológico 204 E-48170 Zamudio, Bizkaia, Spain {Iker.MartinezdeSoria,
                          Juncal.Alonso, Leire.Orue, Mikel.Vergara}

The Internet is undoubtedly permeating and transforming all aspects of our economies and societies. It is a
remarkable catalyst for creativity, collaboration and innovation and more broadly for the development of our
economies and societies [ERCIM, 2009]. In this context, collaboration and interoperability are pervasive subjects
today as organizations strive to achieve competitive advantage in the global market fostered by the development of
the new economies of scale.
In the COIN IP project [IST-216256], a strategy based on readiness assessment to adopt best collaboration and
interoperability practices has been implemented following the maturity models approach.
The aim of this paper is to present a methodology inspired on maturity models. This methodology shows the
approach used to assess organizations on their readiness for collaboration and interoperability and to guide those
organizations to adopt best practices for collaboration and interoperability in networked environments.

Enterprise Collaboration, Enterprise Interoperability, Maturity Models, Networked Environments, Readiness

1 Introduction
Business is undergoing a transformation from the industrial to the information age where
Information Technologies (IT) opens up possibilities for new business solutions; offering
exceptional opportunities for innovative business models and forms. Indeed, collaboration is one
of the global trends in business nowadays [Santos, I., Schuster, S., Vergara, M., Alonso, J.,
2008]. Pushed by the strength of emerging competitors and increasingly demanding customers,
organizations are engaging into collaborative practices in order to face those threats through cost
reductions, increased flexibility and focusing on core competences. Collaboration forms can be
anything from a stable relationship among partners in an extended supply chain to a more
ephemeral cooperation as in a virtual organization, and can also occur within organization
boundaries as well, as a result of off shoring processes for example. Organizations are thus
transforming themselves into networked organizations. These increasing collaborative practices
bring about interoperability clashes at different levels, as networked organizations require
interoperability between their ICT systems.

Therefore, Collaboration and Interoperability are identified as key organising principles in
information-based and knowledge based economies [Lefrere, P, Mason, J, 2003]. Through
collaboration common goals and benefit are discerned and pursued; duplication of effort is
minimised; innovation is stimulated. Achieving Enterprise Interoperability demands use of
networks in ways that harness the aggregate capacity of disparate systems, applications and
Collaboration is a process, and therefore it has to be applied and incorporated to all the
statements of an organization. But many organizations do not have the necessary resources or
knowledge to develop and incorporate these collaboration and interoperability practices.
Furthermore, as every process, collaboration can and should be improved, following a concrete
and specific roadmap.

Maturity models [COIN Consortium, 2008] focus on different disciplines that an organization
can address to improve its business. The Enterprise Collaboration Maturity Model (ECMM) to
be presented in this paper emerges from the necessity of assessing organizations in measuring
their readiness for collaboration and interoperability and help them establishing the roadmap to
improve these collaboration and interoperability practices.
Following this approach, ECMM is being developed to achieve these two main objectives:

      Provide a standard definition of maturity in the collaboration process
      Provide best practices and improvement recommendations related to the collaboration

2 The problem description
Nowadays, in a global and networked society it is widely recognized that collaboration and
interoperability are key issues for organizations. As professed in the introduction to the COIN IP
project, both concepts are different but they are so interconnected that can be considered two
sides of the same COIN [COIN Consortium, 2007].
New economic activities have arisen alongside with new classes of networks and services, new
forms of enterprise collaboration, new business models and new value propositions. Business has
changed as well [Li, M., Crave S., Grilo, A., van den Berg, R., 2008]. As stated by the European
Commission in its recently published Enterprise Interoperability Value Proposition, economies
of scale can now reach world wide, allowing firms to tap into the narrowest parts of the long tail
of demand. In the fast moving, global and internetworked context, collaborative practices are
gaining value into enterprises and are evolving from stable and known forms, like Collaborative
Networks Organisations to more ephemeral cooperation like Virtual Business Ecosystems.
In this new situation where enterprises have become networked enterprises, companies need to
adopt innovative forms of collaboration to compete and maintain their position in the global
market. These new forms of collaboration are based on Information Technologies and therefore
interoperability capabilities at different levels have become crucial to create value and success,
combining technology and business approaches to catalyze and sustain added value for
enterprises and customers.
Existing literature points out different definitions and analysis of new types of collaboration
forms [ECOLEAD Consortium, 2007] as well as numerous enterprise interoperability types and
practices [ATHENA Consortium, 2007]. There are also existing proposals on readiness for
certain types of collaborations forms, like Aricon approach [ARICON, 2005], where a
methodology for Virtual Enterprises and Product development is presented. However, for
enterprises, it is still a hard task to identify best practices and improvements to start
implementing collaboration and interoperability practices inside different types of networked
Supposing that an organization is trying to start collaborating with other organizations, a
question to face is: how is that organization going to know the level of maturity of its
collaboration strategy in order to plan future ways of action?
To bridge this gap, in this article a methodology developed within COIN project to assess
organizations in collaboration and interoperability is presented following a maturity model
approach. ECMM is being developed to assess organizations in order to know their maturity
level for collaboration. In addition, it will provide an improvement plan to implement
collaborative practices, allowing organizations to increase their collaboration and interoperability
capabilities, planning future ways of actions and evolving towards a culture of process
improvement excellence.


3.1   Introduction
The term maturity model was popularized by the SEI (Software Engineering Institute) when they
developed the Capability Maturity Model ® in 1986.
A maturity model is a framework that describes, for a specific area of interest, a number of levels
of sophistication at which activities in this area can be carried out. In the current case of ECMM
the specific areas of interest are Collaboration and Interoperability as ECMM focuses on
different disciplines that an organization can address to improve its business in a networked

A Maturity model will make it easier for organizations to establish goals for process
improvement and identify opportunities for optimization. The maturity model will also describe
essential attributes that are expected to characterize collaboration and interoperability at a
particular maturity level. By comparing an organization’s characteristics and attributes with the
maturity model, an organization will identify which level of collaboration and interoperability it
has in order to increase its process capability: first, establishing goals for the improvement of
processes and then, taking action to achieve them.
The application of a maturity model approach to assess networked organizations will provide
several benefits:

          A place to start: It is important to identify each organization’s current state, this will
           help setting the actions that are necessary to achieve the objectives defined.
          The benefit of a community’s prior experiences: A model is a collection of industry
           good practices proven by experience to be effective.
          A common language: Setting a model implies sharing a common dictionary that will
           assure that every party involved is using a common language.
          A shared vision and a framework for prioritizing actions: A model provides a shared
           vision of the improvement path, what the goal is, what is being aimed for and, how it
           can be achieved.

So, this maturity model approach elicited in the context of COIN project will help organizations
to evaluate and improve the capability for collaboration of an enterprise inside its collaborative
network and to support collaborative and interoperability practices in the scenarios defined in the
project: collaborative networks, supply chains and business ecosystems.
3.2       Requirements

The Enterprise Collaboration Maturity Model has as main objective to analyze, measure, and
propose improvement practices for increasing the capability of an organization to be able to
collaborate and interoperate. That is, both interoperability and collaboration aspects should be
included to reach a model that takes into account Enterprise Interoperability and Enterprise

Therefore, an extended analysis has been performed in the initial research phase including
sources and existing approaches that covers Enterprise Collaboration and Enterprise
Interoperability in relation with Business Processes, Business Models and Business Strategies.
Different attributes of the organization related to these three main areas have been studied to
establish and analysis the collaboration and interoperability strategy of an organization.

In order to define the ECMM several sources have been studied, as other existing maturity
models (CMMI [Carnegie Mellon, 2006], BPMM [Weber, 2007], etc.), frameworks (TQM, [Kay
C., 2002], ITIL [Quint Wellignton, 2005] etc), Enterprise Interoperability and Enterprise
Collaboration concepts and end users requirements.
Therefore, the ECMM requirements have been elicited using different resources, and they are
being distinguished among the different types of possible requisites, which are:

          General requirements are those requirements related to common characteristics of
           models (structure of the model, evaluation method etc).
           For more specific Collaboration and Interoperability issues, concrete requirements
           coming from ECOLEAD [ECOLEAD Consortium, 2007] and ATHENA [ATHENA
           Consortium, 2007] projects have been identified.
          End Users are the fourth source identified to capture requirements for the COIN
           Maturity Model. These end user’s requirements, cover the three previously explained
           areas of general, collaboration and interoperability requirements, but within the
           perspective of the potential users of the maturity model. These end users come from
           different collaboration forms, including supply chain, collaboration networks and
           business ecosystems, and from different industrial sectors like aeronautics, ICT,
           automotive, health care and others.

The approach followed to gather the End Users’ Requirements has been the development of on-
line questionnaires, accessible via the Internet, targeting a wider audience. Survey’s questions
have been grouped into three big categories:

      -    Questions related to models in general
      -    Questions related to ECMM (interoperability and collaboration)
      -    Questions related to end-users experience

End-users needs and problems have been studied through this questionnaire. As a result, there
have been highlighted real end-users requirements and vision about the issue of measuring and
assessing organizations in order to evaluate their preparedness for collaboration. This vision has
been incorporated into the model by the definition of end-users requirements, in terms of
structure for the model, evaluation methodology, content to be included, etc.
3.3       Scope

One of the major challenges when defining the content and the structure of the Maturity Model
has been to determine and establish “what” should be measured by ECMM, to cover all the
specific domains that are important in a collaborative and interoperable environment. Other
maturity models, like CMMI focus on measuring and assessing the business processes, whereas
they do not really strive for measuring and assessing business strategies and business models. In
the case of ECMM, Enterprise Collaboration and Enterprise Interoperability are not only
influenced by Business Processes but also, they are tightly connected to Business Models and
Business Strategies. In this sense there are other existing frameworks related to Business
Strategy concept (like EFQM or Balance ScoreCard [Kaplan R. S., Norton D P., 1992) and
Business Model concept (Osterwalder approach [Osterwalder, A., 2004]).
Due to the nature of the maturity model, it is essential that the elements of the model matches
perfectly with the necessities, vision and needs of the potential users of the collaborative
network. In the analysis of end users’ questionnaires those three disciplines previously
mentioned were evaluated as important by the end-users.

This global preliminary analysis has made up the basis for the development of the maturity
model according not only to the knowledge and experience of theoretical and previous research
and models but also including the real necessities and vision of potential users of the model.
Furthermore, based on this analysis we have identified seven categories that ECMM should
cover and that form the core scope of the model:

      -    Project and Product Management: This domain contains the cross-project and product
           activities related to defining, planning, developing, risks management and quality
      -    Business Process and Strategy: This domain covers areas that support business process
           management and financial aspects.
      -    Customer Management: This contains aspects related to relationship with the customer
           and evaluation.
      -    Collaboration, Legal Environment and Trust: Legal activities, terms of collaboration
      -    Organisation: This domain covers activities related to management of resources,
           development of competences, measurement.
      -    Systems and Technology: Technologies and Services for Interoperability and
      -    Innovation: This domain covers all activities related to innovation processes

3.4       Preliminary Structure

The conclusions from the questionnaires and further experiences analysis have shown that the
concept and structure of CMMI is very clear, well understood and applied within the industry.
With this in mind ECMM structure has been designed based on CMMI building blocks,
which incorporates:
      Maturity levels
      Process areas
      Goals
      Practices
      Sub practices (not always)


                                  Specific             Generic
                                  Goals                Goals

                       Specific                                  Generic
                      Practices                                  Practices

                            Figure 1: ECMM preliminary structure.

Following this approach, in ECMM four Maturity Levels have been identified:

   1. Performed: Collaboration with external entities is done, but in an ad-hoc and chaotic
      manner. Collaborative tasks and processes usually exceed budget and schedule, their
      past success cannot be repeated, and the potential of the technology is not used

   2. Managed: The objective is to create a management foundation for collaboration.
      Network technologies are used to collaborate.

   3. Standardized: The objective is to establish a common business strategy and business
      process infrastructure for collaboration. Business collaboration is facilitated through
      interoperability technologies and use of standards.

   4. Innovating: The objective is to manage and exploit the capability of the CNO process
      infrastructure to achieve predictable results with controlled variation. Additionally,
      another objective is to continuously improve the CNO processes and the resulting
      products and services through continuous capability, and planned innovative

The next natural step within the development of the model is the definition of the preliminary
process areas grouped into previously defined domains, and matching those process areas into
the corresponding maturity level as showed in Table 1.
 Innovation       Project and Product Business       Customer    Collabora Organisation      Systems
                  Management          Process                    tion,                       and
                                      and                        Legal                       technolo
                                      Strategy                   environm                    gy
                                                                 ent and
                                               LEVEL 2
 Project          Collaborative          Business                IPR         Measurement     Baseline
 Innovation       Project                Manage                              and Analysis    Interope
                  Management             ment                                                rability
                                                                 Collabora                   and
                                                                 tion        Resource        Collabor
                  Configuration                                  agreemen    Management      ation
                  Management                                     t                           technolo
                  Requirements                                   Trust
                  Management                                     managem
                  Process        and
                  Product Assurance
                                               LEVEL 3
 Organisational   Requirements           Business    Collabora               Defect    and Standar
 Innovation       Development            Governan    tive                    Problem       d
                                         ce          Customer                Prevention    Interope
                                                     Relations                             rability
                  Risk Management                    hip                                   and
                                         Collabora   Managem                               Collabor
                                         tive        ent                                   ation
                  Technical Solution     Business                                          technolo
                                         Process                                           gies
                                               LEVEL 4
 Open             Quantitative Project               Customer                Training and
 Innovation       Management                         Evaluatio               Competency
                                                     n                       Development

                                                                             l     Process

                     Table 1: Maturity Level-Category-Process Area relationship.

4 Conclusions and future work
This paper has presented the research and the basis of the development of the ECMM
accomplished in the context of the COIN project during its first year. The maturity model
approach for interoperability and collaboration showed in this paper is based on previous
successful approaches like maturity models for process software improvement. Nevertheless, it
incorporates innovative features aligned with end-user’s needs and vision.
The work carried out during this first year has allowed us to establish the structure of the model
and the subjects to be included according previous experience and knowledge as well as needs
and vision of potential users of the maturity model.
Future work will include the development of the process areas identified, joining specific and
generic goals per practice. Moreover, we will also need to develop evaluation questionnaires and
validate this first version of the model in a real collaborative environment and update it with the
input received, following an iterative approach.

This work has been partly funded by the European Commission through IST Project COIN: Collaboration and
Interoperability for Networked Enterprises (No. IST-2007-216256). The authors wish to acknowledge the
Commission for their support. We also wish to acknowledge our gratitude and appreciation to all the COIN project
partners for their contribution during the development of various ideas and concepts presented in this paper.

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