the Happiness Maturity Model

The Happiness Agenda is designed to introduce a number of targeted programs and projects to improve the well-being and quality of life of residents and visitors in Dubai. It is an ambitious program whose success is dependent on the contributions of all sectors in the city towards a shared vision for happiness. In order to chart our course forward, we must discover where we are today. 

Why a Maturity Model?

This week, we will introduce you to the Happiness Maturity Model, a customised evaluation metric designed to help any organisation in the city determine how embedded happiness is in its corporate culture and strategy. The Happiness Maturity Model is tool a to uncover both the depth and breadth of happiness-centric decision making at an entity. The model evaluates the awareness of happiness from customer teams; product teams; and senior management across an organisation on a 5-point scale.

The Smart Dubai Office will utilise the Happiness Maturity Model to achieve a baseline of happiness awareness for the city, beginning with an analysis of the happiness maturity levels of our Happiness Partners. Through the Happiness Agenda, we will seek to elevate the city along the Happiness Maturity model: our goal is to make happiness embedded across all organisations in the city. 

The Happiness Maturity Model will be an important tool in planning our approach, and evaluating our progress. 


The Happiness Maturity Model is derived from the Customer Experience Maturity Model. It is based on the standard 5-level Capability Maturity Model (CMM) developed for the US defence department by Carnegie Mellon University (Humphrey, 1989), Gartner developed a CMM to measure the state of CX in an organisation (Thompson, 2011). The Happiness Maturity Model is largely based on the Gartner model, and also re-focuses the model to be more relevant government organisations and the Happiness Agenda. The Happiness Maturity Levels are as follows:

1. Ad-hoc

The organisation has no formally recognised activities regarding happiness. Any activities are conducted at an individual level.

2. Developing

There is some limited recognition of happiness activities by the organisation, but no systemised approach.

3. Standardised

There is a formal, organisation-wide happiness experience strategy. Happiness experience data now influences decision-making.

4. Tactical

HX is now a priority for the organisation. Happiness is a critical KPI for all customer segments and employees are empowered to act.

5. Embedded

Happiness is part of the DNA of the organisation. The focus is now on optimising HX at an organisation, employee and individual level.


Happiness Maturity Model Worksheet

The Happiness Maturity Model Worksheet below will walk you through a each level of the Happiness Maturity Model, highlighting key characteristics and examples for each level. Your task for this week will be to complete the Happiness Maturity Model assessment for your entity. The worksheet will be a crucial tool to support you through this process.