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AI Guide for Government

A living and evolving guide to the application of Artificial Intelligence for the U.S. federal government.

Organizational maturity areas

Organizational maturity areas represent the capacity to embed AI capabilities across the organization.

The first approach is top down, generally used by senior leaders and executives. It’s influenced by the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) system1 of evaluating organizational maturity. This particular top-down method helps you evaluate organizations. The top-down view in the table below is based on CMMI levels 1-5.

The second approach is user-centric, generally used by program and mission managers, who focus on delivery. It uses the CMMI system as an industry standard for evaluating organizational maturity. This bottom-up view is synthesized from CoE engagements with federal agency partners, market research, case study evaluation, and lessons learned.

AI investment decision makers can analyze activities from a top-down, bottom up, or dual-view perspective.

Top-Down, Organizational View

Initial / Ad Hoc

Process is unpredictable, poorly controlled, and unmanaged.


Process is documented and steps are repeatable with consistent results. Often reactionary.


Documented, standardized processes that are improved over time.


Activities are effectively measured, and meeting objectives are based on active management and evidence-based outcomes.


Continuous performance improvement of activities through incremental and innovative improvements.

Bottom-Up, User-centric View


No organizational team structure around activities. Self-organized and executed.

Team Project

A dedicated, functional team organized around process activities. Organized by skill set or mission.


Group of related projects managed in a coordinated way. Introduction of structured program management.


Collection of projects, programs, and other operations that achieve strategic objectives.


Operational activities and resources are organized around enterprise strategy and business goals.



  1. “Draft 2019-2020 Federal Data Strategy Action Plan.” Federal Data Strategy Development Team. June 2019. Pg. 11.