Blog Post

Assessing your digital skills, and your organization's digital maturity

By: Marco Campana
September 28, 2022

Assessing and building Immigrant and Refugee-serving sector staff and organizational digital capacity is an important goal to move the sector forward as we build a strategic and practical hybrid service delivery model.

Research from the National Steering Committee on Technology (NCST) as well as the Settlement Sector & Technology Task Group highlighted this need and made strong recommendations. As the sector and our funders work to figure this all out, you don't need to wait.

I've posted many resources around digital literacy and digital inclusion that have come out of the UK. Here are 2 that I recommend you try out for yourselves.

Assessing your digital skills

Connecting Scotland's Essential Digital Skills Checklist helps you measure your digital skills. It will help you find the main areas you need more support to develop. Once you’ve worked through the checklist, you’ll get a list of resources to help you build your skills based on the results.


Assessing your organization's digital maturity

Building organizational Digital Maturity is an important goal and recommendation that has come out strongly in the reports and sector conversations. Digital Maturity Models provide a framework to evaluate how digitally mature an organization is today, and to help build a roadmap for the future. These models provide digital assessment, guidance, and road maps across broad capacity areas and should be evaluated for adoption and replication in the sector. There are a number of frameworks, models, and assessment approaches from the private sector perspective.

As we found during those research projects, the UK has done great research looking at Digital Maturity from a non-profit and charity perspective. The UK-based National Council for Voluntary organizations (NCVO) developed the digital maturity matrix, a self-assessment tool for organizations to measure their digital maturity in 8 areas: leadership and strategy, expertise and capacity, technology, service design, content, communications and campaign, data and insight, and security and data protection. UK-based Breast Cancer Care developed a digital maturity benchmark analysis.

Think Social Tech, a research consultancy for the UK's civil society, reviewed 50 existing digital maturity models, 33 of which specifically target the charitable sector. They provide conceptual, strategic and practical recommendations for organizations that plan to develop digital maturity assessment and diagnostic tools. Among the models they reviewed:

  • Scottish Council for Voluntary organizations (SCVO)’s Digital Check-up is a simple diagnostic survey to assess digital maturity, specifically designed for small charities.
  • Better Digital Services lists 9 key design principles that help charities build better digital services: user needs, understand what is out there first, build the right team, take small steps and learn as you go, build digital services not websites, be inclusive, think about privacy and security, build for sustainability, collaborate and build partnerships, be open.
  • Digital Culture Compass created The Tracker, a digital maturity index element, for arts and heritage organisations. 

Where to start

Even with a small number of tools, it can be hard to know where to start. So, today, I recommend you have a look at Digital leadership’s Digital Maturity Framework. The Digital Maturity Assessment reveals the level of digital maturity for your organization.

It assesses 15 competencies between levels of digital maturity that range from 1 (low) to 5 (high) to produce a digital maturity score. The assessment takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. Read the descriptions and choose the answer that most closely represents where your organization is at the moment.

Try these out and let me know what you think.

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