Gartner Research

How Gartner Score Helps You Assess Maturity and Prioritize Improvements

Published: 24 April 2019


Going beyond a simple maturity assessment, Gartner Score diagnostics are designed to help you measure, prioritize and improve your function’s performance on critical activities.


Key Findings
  • Gartner Score evaluates maturity across dozens of cross-business functional areas. It follows a common framework developed by Gartner experts and guided by peer practices.

  • Gartner Score diagnoses maturity and priority based on participants’ inputs on key activities.

  • Informed interpretation of your Gartner Score maximizes your ability to create an improvement plan focused on your most critical initiatives and strategic goals.

  • The Gartner Score report provides a detailed roadmap for advancing maturity, as well as resources and recommendations to help you improve.


To maximize the value of Gartner Score, leaders of a function should:

  • Prioritize activities vital for improvement using Gartner Score results. Use the Gartner Recommended Resources, contained as an integral part of the results report, for guidance on how to improve prioritized activities.

  • Schedule an inquiry session with Gartner to gain further insight into your results and best next steps once you have completed a Gartner Score diagnostic.

  • Take Gartner Score every 12 months to track progress and develop an action plan for further improvement.


Understanding which activities have the most critical gaps between importance and maturity is a valuable approach for leaders when prioritizing improvements.

Gartner Score helps you prioritize activities based on Gartner’s experience and research into what defines high-performing organizations. After you assess your organization’s performance against a peer-based framework, you can start to identify your most critical maturity gaps and review customized maturity roadmaps that provide resources and recommendations to help you close these gaps.

Instead of simply targeting low maturity activities, Gartner Score takes an optimal approach by identifying activities that need to be performing at a higher maturity based on your priorities. Looking across the entire function or capability provides important context because activities work in conjunction with each other.

Gartner Score results enable you to see a graphical analysis of the gap between maturity and what’s important to your organization. Other views in the results include depicting the differences between leader and team viewpoints. You can share these with your colleagues to help identify the top activities to add to your roadmap for improvement.

Who Should Participate?

There are three strategies for choosing participants. Each are equally valid approaches but can reveal different nuances:

  • Individual perspective on the function The first approach is simply taking Gartner Score on your own. It’s the quickest and easiest option, and will allow you to review your results as soon as you complete the diagnostic. However, you’ll miss out on gathering the wider perspectives of your team.

  • Team consensus view — The third approach is to gather your team together in a room or on a conference call to go through the survey, share opinions and come to a consensus for each answer. This approach ensures all team members norm their impressions in open discussion. It can make the results more actionable. Since everyone is aligned on the inputs, it’s easier to act on the outputs. However, there is a danger that this approach could stifle valuable dissenting voices.

You can complete part or all of the activities within a Gartner Score. Complete a subsegment of the Gartner Score to receive quicker results on specific activities within the function. Or, complete the entire assessment to get comprehensive results on a broad range of capabilities.

Assessments may be conducted on different segments within the organization to compare maturity and priorities across each. More broadly, leadership with purview across several functional areas can leverage different diagnostics across the enterprise. For instance, a leader may assess maturity across almost a dozen IT functions, such as CIO leadership, infrastructure and operations, and program and portfolio management, and also include HR and finance — all using a consistent methodology and reporting.

The Gartner Score Diagnostic Family spans more than a dozen practices (see Figure 1 and Note 1). Within each practice, there may be one or several diagnostics. The introduction of this family represents a redesign of the previous ITScore assessments (see Note 2).

Understanding the Assessment Framework

Gartner Score enables organizations to improve performance by assessing maturity across a broad set of related activities. Each Gartner Score typically starts with a set of four to 10 objectives. An objective is a top-level category for a set of distinct, but thematically related, functional activities (see Figure 2). The objectives provide a framework that defines the scope of the function and diagnostic. Under each objective, there are typically three to seven activities required for the function to satisfy its goal. For each activity, the diagnostic, based on participant inputs, measures two primary dimensions: maturity and importance.

How Importance and Maturity Are Derived

Importance measures how important each functional activity is to the overall effectiveness of your function in meeting its business objectives. For each activity, participants provide an importance rating on a scale of 1 (not important) to 4 (very important). After each activity is rated, participants narrow the top rated to no more than three of most importance. These receive an importance score of 5.


Maturity is measured on a scale ranging from 1 (low) to 5 (high). Maturity measures how advanced an organization’s development is within a functional activity relative to Gartner’s research. Maturity scores are refined with a (+) or (-) to indicate intermediate levels of maturity.

Best practice, or a score of “5,” is leading edge but exists in the real world and is attainable. Keep in mind that what is considered “leading edge” today will likely change. What defines best-in-class behaviors or practices today may be considered common practice in a year or two. As such, Gartner updates each score periodically to reflect the evolution within the practice.

Understanding Benchmarks

Maturity scores measure how advanced an organization’s practices are compared to Gartner’s overall research for all organizations. However, you may be interested in how your results rate against a subset of organizations that have taken Gartner Score rather than the broader research view across all organizations.

When available, your report will include a benchmark score for the average maturity of organizations that have taken the assessment. The overall benchmark score shown in the report is based on an average for each activity.

Gartner Score goes through a regular update process to reflect current practices. When the updated assessment is launched, there is a period of time when benchmarks are not available. You can visit the tool anytime to add a benchmark and update your existing assessment.

Taking Action

Once you’ve completed Gartner Score, you can use the results in several ways:

  • Bring them to your next roadmap planning session to help map out the next important activities on which to focus.

  • Conduct a workshop with your team to reach understanding and alignment about priority activities.

  • Use the analytical graphics in the results report to build a case for the management team based on the status of the function and point out areas that need further investment and attention.

  • Schedule an inquiry call with a Gartner analyst or advisor.

Once Gartner Score has helped you understand what to prioritize, the report also acts as a gateway to our best resources on how to prioritize. The “Path to Maturity” pages detail recommended next steps to improve maturity for each activity, and provide links to featured, and foundational and progressive practices you can implement to drive results.

Frequently Asked Questions

    Gartner Recommended Reading

    Some documents may not be available as part of your current Gartner subscription.

    At the time of this publication, the Gartner Score Diagnostic Family includes almost 50 assessments across multiple functions such as IT, HR, marketing and supply chain. Access to any or all of these assessments is based on a client’s subscription. Access to inquiry on the results is independent of access to the Gartner Score tool itself and is based on a client’s level of service.

    Gartner Score methodology is based on the CEB Ignition Diagnostic, a proven maturity diagnostic with thousands of completed assessments since 2014. In 2019, Gartner updated the Ignition Diagnostic to be delivered on a new platform that clients can use and renamed the diagnostic “Gartner Score.”

    The new IT Score is a part of the Gartner Score Diagnostic Family. The content and design leverage the earlier Gartner ITScore and CEB IT Ignition Diagnostic as a basis that forms a new family of IT maturity assessments. The previous Gartner ITScore, Gartner’s IT maturity assessment since 2010, was replaced by the new IT Score within the Gartner Score Diagnostic Family in 2019.


    Jeremy Hayes

    Access Research

    Already a Gartner client?

    To view this research and much more, become a client.

    Speak with a Gartner specialist to learn how you can access peer and practitioner research backed by proprietary data, insights, advice and tools to help you achieve stronger performance.

    By clicking the "Continue" button, you are agreeing to the Gartner Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    Gartner research: Trusted insight for executives and their teams

    What is Gartner research?

    Gartner research, which includes in-depth proprietary studies, peer and industry best practices, trend analysis and quantitative modeling, enables us to offer innovative approaches that can help you drive stronger, more sustainable business performance.

    Gartner research is unique, thanks to:

    Independence and objectivity

    Our independence as a research firm enables our experts to provide unbiased advice you can trust.

    Actionable insights

    Not only is Gartner research unbiased, it also contains key take-aways and recommendations for impactful next steps.

    Proprietary methodologies

    Our research practices and procedures distill large volumes of data into clear, precise recommendations.

    Gartner research is just one of our many offerings.

    We provide actionable, objective insight to help organizations make smarter, faster decisions to stay ahead of disruption and accelerate growth.

    Tap into our experts

    We offer one-on-one guidance tailored to your mission-critical priorities.

    Pick the right tools and providers

    We work with you to select the best-fit providers and tools, so you avoid the costly repercussions of a poor decision.

    Create a network

    Connect directly with peers to discuss common issues and initiatives and accelerate, validate and solidify your strategy.

    Experience Gartner Conferences

    Join your peers for the unveiling of the latest insights at Gartner conferences.

    ©2022 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and its affiliates. This publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without Gartner’s prior written permission. It consists of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization, which should not be construed as statements of fact. While the information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartner research may address legal and financial issues, Gartner does not provide legal or investment advice and its research should not be construed or used as such. Your access and use of this publication are governed by Gartner’s Usage Policy. Gartner prides itself on its reputation for independence and objectivity. Its research is produced independently by its research organization without input or influence from any third party. For further information, see Guiding Principles on Independence and Objectivity.