Maturity Models for Travel Programs

Ever since working at AT Kearney, I’ve liked the concept of maturity models.  You might know them by the term “Stages of Excellence”, or some other label.  Done well, they are good at helping you quickly get a feel for where your company stacks up against others.

Here are two maturity models for travel programs that you might like:

Travel Program Maturity Model This is the easier model, as it covers only seven key dimensions of a travel program, such as Travel Policy, Form of Booking, Form of Payment, etc. It offers checkpoints for three stages: Early, Average and Mature. I presented this framework last month in Sao Paulo at the LACCTE conference.

Way back in 2002 I developed a much more rigorous framework for evaluating a travel program. The scoring tool is in Excel – it’s a self-evaluation that results in clear scores across 14 dimensions.  You may want the Powerpoint file that describes the framework:  Stages of Travel Excellence Intro

Stages of Travel Mgmt Excellence Scoring Tool – use this excel model to score your program.

And while these benchmark results are  nearly ten years old, I think they are still useful.  They are based on about 70 companies who submitted their scores.  My old team at Travel Analytics analyzed them and I presented these findings in Munich at an ACTE conference. See for yourself in this report:

Stages of Travel Mgmt Excellence in 2003

If you know of other maturity models related to travel, please mention them in a comment below.  I’m pretty sure there are ones for meetings (SMMP?) and for traveler security. Perhaps there are others for areas such as self-booking, or payments?

(Updated on 3/18/2011) Thanks to Bruce McIndoe at iJet for this excellent Travel Risk Management Maturity Model.  Courtesy of GBTA and iJet, you can see how your program compares to others here.

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6 thoughts on “Maturity Models for Travel Programs

  1. I’ve been looking for a TP Maturity Model for some time, although dated, this is the first version I’ve come across. Would love to see a more current version if anyone has one.

  2. Hi Scott, Even though maturity models have been around for decades I still see them as a great tool to approach an area in a structured fashion rather than being incident driven.

    Advito uses a travel program maturity model for their comprehensive program diagnostic and their benchmarking service “eValuation”. They just recently created a simple self-assessment tool version of it for the UK travel and meetings management association ITM. The tool is available for free download on the itm website (until April even for non members).

  3. Scott, with globalization and consolidation of companies, do you predict a cycle for travel programs? Once a program reaches the mature stage but the company continues to add new divisions, acquire new companies and through attrition of key players, do you see programs circling back to the earlier stages in your model?
    Thanks. Excellent presentation.
    Debra Reid
    Air France

    • I think that global programs will get good at integrating the far-flung parts of their travel program. Gone (hopefully) are the days when a US-based global travel manager expects to “globalize” his/her LatAm or MEA travel stakeholders by expecting a quick conversion to regional call centers, online booking tools and a single global credit card – all within six months. Ha!

      Instead, the globally aware travel managers will have access to really good, practical advice and lessons learned from peers who have broken those trails.

      The result will be a steady and less bumpy road of continual progress toward globally mature travel programs…so no backsliding, rather just different rates of acceleration toward the mature levels.

  4. Pingback: 8 Travel Programs Blogs

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