Maturity assessment of your product development

All companies go through a similar and predictable maturity development. But the speed and order that characterise the establishment of individual capabilities do vary. For example, companies that even operate in the same industry can easily have a maturity gap of 15 years. The maturity model developed by CO Improve from many years of consulting experience provides you with a solid model for determining where you stand, and with which you can logically derive the next steps to improve the performance of your product development. Find out where you stand and what next steps you should take. We help you with a holistic Smart Development Assessment.

The maturity model

Our maturity model is the methodical instrument for our Smart Development Assessments, which quickly and comprehensively show you sources of potential for improvement and development paths. Why did we develop our own maturity model for this purpose? After all, there are already established models such as CMMI. Quite simply: our maturity model not only looks at product development processes and project management, but also at your strategy development capabilities and the performance of your organisation. And it sees product creation as a cross-functional core process of your company. This is the only way to develop a holistic performance improvement programme.

We divide these three fields into areas and these, in turn, into practices. We measure how well a company carries out these practices in the finest detail using over 2000 indicators. From these, we determine the levels of capability in each area and aggregate them into a maturity level, which we present in 5 levels.

Conducting a Smart Development Assessment

We conduct the Smart Development Assessment together with you and according to a proven procedure:

In a preparation phase, we determine interview partners and plan all dates to ensure an efficient process.

In the kick-off, we inform all participants about the objectives, the scope and the concrete procedure of the Smart Development Assessment. This is an important moment for buy-in and the accompanying change management.

In an initial self-assessment, we guide a cross-functional group of managers through the most important areas and practices of the maturity model. In this way, you are afforded an initial overview, come to a common understanding of the terms with us and assess the need for action on the individual practices from your perspective. We later compare this self-assessment with our own external assessment. You will be surprised at the insights you already gain from discussing the practices with your colleagues.

At the core of the actual collection of all information for the subsequent capability level- and maturity assessment are interviews with a representative selection of all people involved in product creation. From the Executive Board to the design engineer. From strategic product management to development, purchasing, production, quality management, controlling and customer service. From the impatient change-maker to the Guardian of Old. From a long-time employee to a colleague who has already worked in several other companies. These interviews relate exclusively to the interviewee’s area of responsibility and duties, and his or her interfaces. They are supplemented by various analyses of costs, activity structures, key project figures, etc.

Now, we consolidate all results, clarify any contradictions and validate the assessment. The assessment of your capability levels is differentiated for the various areas and aggregated to a maturity level. We then reveal to you where the greatest sources of potential lie. Together with us, you determine for which topic areas (work streams) an initial improvement concept should be developed and how such an initiative could be structured. In the process, we also determine who the project teams for the individual topic areas should be.

In a final step, we support these project teams in working out the concrete objectives, the solution concept, the approach and the resources, as well as the schedule and cost planning. All you have to do is approve these plans. This is where the Smart Development Assessment ends.

Your teams then implement the improvements. We will be happy to support you with our experience in the development and implementation of the detailed concepts, the steering of the improvement initiative and the accompanying change management.


The Smart Development Assessment includes the assessment of the current situation with capability levels for the individual areas and an aggregated maturity level, an improvement concept as a target vision and concrete project plans for implementation agreed with your project teams. With these measures, you will be able to increase the performance of your product creation. We will be happy to accompany you flexibly for as long and as intensively as you feel appropriate and helpful, so that your result is irreversibly good.

The benefit to you

  • You adopt a holistic and cross-functional view of product creation.
  • You will receive a status report with differentiated levels of capability and an aggregated maturity level.
  • You can derive, prioritise and plan the next improvement steps from this.
  • You receive decision-ready project plans for the implementation of the individual topic areas and the entire improvement initiative.
  • By way of intensive participation and involvement, you have the buy-in of your managers and staff that translates into a sustainable and irreversibly good result.
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