A typical readiness assessment is conducted by a team of two or more assessors with a goal of deriving an objective and unbiased expert characterisation of an organisation based on the information collected. Consensus between assessors is critical to drive out error and bias and fully examine all points of view. Generally a documented body of knowledge (quality, Six Sigma, management, software, etc.) is tapped to help identify organizations’ leverageable strengths, opportunities for improvement and priorities for the pending initiative.
Examples of typical results might point to (as a leverageable strength) “a strong sense of pervasive process focus and documentation as evidenced by procedures and the rigor with which they are used.” It is a strength because the organization recognizes the need and importance of process focus and has an established system with which to keep them documented. It is leverageable because best practices suggest process rigor and documentation are a critical success factor to institutionalize and control an optimized system or process.
A corresponding opportunity for improvement may indicate, “The measurement system is inconsistently used and the collection and characterization of data is highly variable.” This might suggest that a significant effort using measurement system analysis (MSA) would be required to validate both project selection criteria and the execution of the projects themselves. Additionally, pockets of excellence (places where excellent measurement systems have been validated and are in use) may indicate areas ripe for early adoption of more advanced techniques. These characterizations are usually completed process-by-process, scored and aggregated into an organization-wide baseline.