As I was evaluating the work of Sadalit Van Buren on a SharePoint Maturity Model as a potential topic for presentation at SPTechCon Boston in June (it is on the program), I was struck by how the model laid bare the complexity of SharePoint.

The usual maturity model gives milestones for engagement; this one does as well, but in a number of different core competencies that somewhat follow Microsoft’s SharePoint 2007 wheel: collaboration, business process, search. It moves on to the advanced competencies that mirror the SharePoint 2010 wheel: composites, communities, insight. With apologies to Sadalit for the brevity with which I am discussing the model, there are also readiness competencies, and the maturity levels are defined.

This maturity model is actually three: maturity from beginning use to optimized, across the core competencies. After those are maximized, you move to the model for advanced competencies, then the readiness competencies. It’s truly a thoughtful measure of where your organization is on its “SharePoint Journey,” as Microsoft calls it.

As with all maturity models, though, organizations will find the place that gives them the most value and stop there. Only when a new business need arises will they look to take it to the next level. Very few organizations in the maturity models we’ve covered are optimized to the max just for the sake of being so; they usually fall at various places along the grid. This is fine. It’s not like you’re either using SharePoint correctly or you’re not. You’re using it the way that best meets the needs of the organization.

Nonetheless, the model is certainly an interesting guide for organizations that do see their SharePoint implementation as a journey, and it provides a way to measure against best practices defined in the model. The latest data on where organizations are with SharePoint points to the relative immaturity of SharePoint implementations.

Sadalit Van Buren will present “The SharePoint Maturity Model” at SPTechCon. Check the website for details. Using the model will most assuredly help your company understand where it is along the SharePoint path.