Business process maturity models: a systematic literature review

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Context: The number of maturity models proposed in the area of Business Process Management (BPM) has increased considerably in the last decade. However, there are a number of challenges, such as the limited empirical studies on their validation and a limited extent of actionable properties of these models in guiding their application. These challenges hinder the widespread usage of the maturity models in the BPM field.
Objective: In order to better understand the state of the research on business process maturity models (BPMMs) and identify opportunities for future research, we conducted a systematic literature review.
Method: We searched the studies between the years 1990 and 2014 in established digital libraries to identify empirical studies of BPMMs by focusing on their development, validation, and application. We targeted studies on generic models proposed for business process maturity, business process management or orientation maturity, and selected 61 studies out of 2899 retrieved initially.
Results: We found that despite that many BPMMs were proposed in the last decade, the level of empirical evidence that reveals the validity and usefulness of these models is scarce.
Conclusion: The current state of research on BPM maturity is in its early phases, and academic literature lacks methodical applications of many mainstream BPMMs that have been proposed. Future research should be directed towards: (1) reconciling existing models with a strong emphasis on prescriptive properties, (2) conducting empirical studies to demonstrate the validity and usefulness of BPMMs, and (3) separating the assessment method used to evaluate the maturity level from the maturity model which acts as the reference framework for the assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-134
Number of pages13
JournalInformation and Software Technology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • Business process management
  • Business process orientation
  • Maturity model
  • Systematic literature review


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