Maturity models are widespread in IS research and in particular, IT practitioner communities. However, theoretically sound, methodologically rigorous and empirically validated maturity models are quite rare. This literature review paper focuses on the challenges faced during the development of maturity models. Specifically, it explores maturity models literature in IS and standard guidelines, if any to develop maturity models, challenges identified and solutions proposed. Our systematic literature review of IS publications revealed over hundred and fifty articles on maturity models. Extant literature reveals that researchers have primarily focused on developing new maturity models pertaining to domain-specific problems and/or new enterprise technologies. We find rampant re-use of the design structure of widely adopted models such as Nolan’s Stage of Growth Model, Crosby’s Grid, and Capability Maturity Model (CMM). Only recently have there been some research efforts to standardize maturity model development. We also identify three dominant views of maturity models and provide guidelines for various approaches of constructing maturity models with a standard vocabulary. We finally propose using process theories and configurational approaches to address the main theoretical criticisms with regard to maturity models and conclude with some recommendations for maturity model developers.