Courtesy of Microsoft.


We often hear from people in the community that they know they aren’t using Microsoft 365 capabilities as fully or as efficiently as they would like. Sometimes this can be an existential dread rather than a specific set of clear ideas about what is missing or what to do to work smarter.

Taking a holistic view of the technology through the lens of the Maturity Model for Microsoft 365 and gaining an understanding of current state vs. desired state can help organizations in these important ways:

  • Understand and compare options for solving business problems
  • Focus time, energy, and resources on the right priorities
  • Identify the budget and resources needed to move ahead
  • Establish a baseline to show improvement over time

Where Is Your Organization in the SPMM? It is Critical That You Know!

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Maturity Levels

The 5 levels within the Maturity Model for Microsoft 365 can be summarized as:

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Level 100 – Initial (Ad hoc, reactive, uncontrolled, chaotic, unstable)

  • Default, starting/exploratory state
  • People driven processes, lacking documentation and discipline
  • Many ways of doing the same thing (with variable results)
  • Characterized by inefficient legacy approaches and pockets of un-managed innovation

Level 200 – Managed (Routine, legacy, firefighting, variable, personally managed)

  • Key processes defined but not standardized, uniformly or strongly applied
  • Some ability to demonstrate consistent outcomes
  • Limited buy-in from staff and management
  • Widespread inconsistency and resistance
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Level 300 – Defined (Documented, policy-driven, planned, controlled, stable)

  • Defined and standardized
  • Signed off, managed process
  • Limited validation of effectiveness, doesn’t include edge cases
  • Process users demonstrate familiarity

Level 400 – Predictable (Productive, interactive, responsive, enhanced, effective, adaptable, quality)

  • Actively managed in accordance with agreed processes and has tracked metrics
  • Effective achievement can be evidenced across a range of operational conditions
  • Process has been tested and refined
  • Process users demonstrate competence
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Level 500 – Optimizing (Optimal, systematic, statistical, improvement-focus, automated, assured, proactive)

  • Deliberate and systematic process improvement/optimization
  • Focus is on continually improving process performance
  • Management of the processes are concerned with addressing statistical common causes of process variation and changing the process to improve process performance

What’s Next?

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The goal of expanding the SPMM to the Microsoft 365 level is to help practitioners in the community think through how they can improve their capabilities or decide which capabilities matter most to them. These decisions should be based not just on the technology capabilities themselves but driven by specific outcome objectives derived from the organizational strategy, possibly at a reasonably granular level as well as at the over-arching organization level.

Our goal is to apply the same core competencies that were the core of the original SharePoint Maturity Model, updated and extended to reflect the current business and technical environment. As Microsoft 365 is a much deeper and wider toolkit, the project is creating a guidance document for each competency, in a consistent format. Although these are clearly linked to Microsoft 365, we have deliberately avoided detailing particular features and functions, focusing on the business needs and processes in the competency documents. We will continue to expand the document set to drill into the technologies; provide a ‘how to’ for achieving different levels with the tools Microsoft 365 provides; and highlight some practical scenarios.

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If you are interested in exploring how your clients can benefit from a “M365 SPMM Workshop” contact me at