The first and foundational step in any engineering transformation is getting to “speak the same language.” Transaction leads’ initiatives in the product innovation and commercialization (PIC) space are often hampered by a confluence of challenges: complex and interconnected processes, idiosyncratic or segment-specific terminology and an insular culture resistant to external interventions.
In response, EY has developed and refined a Maturity Assessment Tool that can improve the odds and, when properly applied, provide leaders of engineering transformation initiatives with highly needed focus, rigor and transparency.
In our experience, product development excellence depends on mastering six core capabilities, which often cut across the formal lines of the product, technology and engineering organizations:
- Product life cycle management
- Portfolio management
- Ecosystem management
- Project management
- Tools and infrastructure
- Talent and knowledge management
Each capability consists of multiple attributes: for example, world-class project management capability requires excellence in project governance, team structure, decision-making criteria, and integrated planning and execution.
Maturity assessment can help to prioritize transformation efforts to address critical business needs first and support efficient use of integration resources. The Maturity Assessment Report can provide a clear view of capability gaps between acquirer and target and against the future state. This can help in prioritizing the set of transformation initiatives: areas where incremental investment is required to develop capabilities.
For example, rapidly growing technology companies often excel in project and product life cycle management; however, they are not equally sophisticated at managing complex portfolios. Acquisitions of other companies only exacerbate their deficiencies in portfolio management, resulting in imbalanced product or technology portfolios that carry excess risk or require excessive investment to maintain.
Maturity models, used in combination with assessment tools, can provide an objective way of calibrating current state against leading practices and guide the transformation program, identifying which capabilities are best suited for the future state organization and driving decisions to prioritize areas for improvement.