Adoption of People CMM® -01: Appraisal Results

The People CMM® (by Bill Curtis, Bill Hefley, and Sally Miller) has been available for more than 15 years. Version 1.0 of the model was released in 1995 and version 2.0 was released in 2001. So, maybe it is time to look at the extent of adoption by the industry and benefits accrued to organizations that have adopted the model.

There are many ways one can evaluate the extent of adoption; one way is to look at the volume of Class-A appraisals done (Class-A appraisals are the only recognized way of getting a maturity level in People CMM®). Earlier, the Class-A appraisals were done using People CMM® Assessment method. This method was replaced with the SCAMPISM-A appraisal method, since 2006-07.

See the latest post at: People CMM® Appraisals – 2014 Update

Without further verbiage, here is the data, in the form of a trend chart:No. of People CMM® Appraisals

Here is the data in a tabular format, with more details:No. of PCMM® Appraisals

Some context on the data above:

  1. Data for the years 2002-2007 is picked up from a presentation titled People Capability Maturity Model: Product Suite Maturity Profile (January 2008) by the People CMM® Team at the SEI.
  2. For the years 2008-2009, there is no officially compiled data easily available – the numbers are extrapolated based on the appraisals done by the most active Lead Appraisers in those years.
  3. The 2010-2011 data is picked up from the Published Appraisal Results website maintained by the CMMI Institute. Some appraisals may be missing from the data, if the appraised entity did not wish to publish the data (some organizations do not like the data to be published, some decline permission because they are embarrassed by the maturity level rating that they have got :-)).

Going back to the graph, there seems to be an alternating trend, every 2-3 years. There is a peak of 10+ appraisals, followed by a dip to around 4-5 appraisals in the next year. Maybe, People CMM® is a seasonal flavour! :-). [Actually the data points are too few to reach any conclusion about trends].

The numbers are not flattering – given that the model has been in the market for so many years, just 4-14 appraisals per year (across the whole wide world) is very low. Not more than 2 Lead Appraisers are required to handle this volume!

Further analysis of the past 15 appraisals (in the last 2 years 3 months) listed in the Published Appraisal Results website (with Filter People CMM® v2.0) maintained by SEI shows the following:

  • Geographic spread: India-8; China-3; Philippines-1; Oman-1; UK-1; Malaysia-1. It is interesting to note that there are no appraisals in the US.
  • Industry spread: IT-8; BPO-3; Banking-1; Utilities-1; Engineering-1. So, not a model “just for software organizations”.
  • Most of the appraisals are led either by Sankararaman Dhandapani or by Rajesh Naik of QAI India Ltd. The last fifteen appraisals are accounted for between four LAs (out of the 13 LAs listed for People CMM® in the SEI Partner Directory).

Hope the trend of low number of appraisals is broken in the coming years.

Other related posts uploaded on the same blog:

SM-SCAMPI is a service mark of Carnegie Mellon University.

I am Rajesh Naik. I am an author, management consultant and trainer, helping IT and other tech companies improve their processes and performance. I also specialize in CMMI® (DEV and SVC), People CMM® and Balanced Scorecard. I am a CMMI Institute certified/ authorized Instructor and Lead Appraiser for CMMI® and People CMM®. I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. For more information please click here.

15 thoughts on “Adoption of People CMM® -01: Appraisal Results”

  1. Thanks for publishing the PCMM related appraisal information in a succint manner. Since SEI started publishing the SCAMPI results on PCMM only since Jan 2010, there was no way one could get information on the history of PCMM related appraisals before 2010.

    This compilation of information provides a more comprehensive historical perspective on adoption of PCMM.

  2. Thanks Rajesh .. one gets a quick at-a-glance history of PCMM and more importantly a comprehensive view of the PCMM Appraisal of the recent past ..

  3. “Most of the appraisals are led either by Sankararaman Dhandapani or by Rajesh Naik of QAI India Ltd. The last fifteen appraisals are accounted for between four LAs (out of the 13 LAs listed for People CMM® in the SEI Partner Directory).”

    Thats an amazing level of accomplishment for both Rajesh and Shankar and in effect to QAI! Rajesh sets the standard and raises the bar, rest always endeavor to catch up!

    Great results!

    1. Hi Ramesh,

      Thanks for visiting and the kind words. However, my point was also the low uptake of the model, especially in terms of the appraisals logged in SEI site.

  4. Hello Rajesh,
    Very interesting information about PCMM. Given the importance of HCM, especially in a knowledge economy should the adoption of PCMM be increasing?
    A few reasons that I think are causing low adoption rates: The fact that it takes much more time for the benefits of PCMM to play out could be one reason which hinders adoption rate. This is also accentuated in the recent times due to the lack of sponsorship for multi-year discretionary initiatives (though this may be true since 2008-2009). Other reason that I think of is the implementation of HR Systems (ERP systems with HCM modules) which provides a framework of best practices. Hence it may be difficult for Organizations to further re engineer systems to meet PCMM requirements.

    Looking forward for your subsequent blog posts!

    1. Hi Srikanth,

      My take is that the PCMM framework cannot be understood through self-reading (and this may one of the reasons for low adoption). It needs a guided facilitation to understand the essence of the framework, and how it can be used to build People related systems using a process based approach. While folks who are used to maturity frameworks like CMM can understand this better, those who are new to the CMM constructs tend to read part of the PCMM only and read them like discrete practices and tend to miss out on the essence.

      It may require a lot more evangelizing and a cycle of implementation for many to be able to unravel the power of the framework. I believe QAI has put in a great contribution on this front to carry the message.

  5. While your data may show that “It is interesting to note that there are no appraisals in the US.”, there have been multiple People CMM appraisals conducted in the US. Not sure if they were not shown in the SEI briefing of pre-PARS data or if they pre-date that data or if the organizations did not want them published, but I know that at least three of the People CMM Method Lead Appraisers led appraisals within the US.

    1. Hi Bill,

      It is an honor to have one of the authors (of the People CMM model) reading and commenting on the post. Thanks a lot.

      You are right, the data presented is based on what is available on the SEI site (with filter: Model = People CMM version 2.0). This has the list of all appraisals done since end 2009 (where the sponsor has permitted the publishing of the results). There have been PCMM appraisals/ assessments done in the US prior to end 2009. There are likely to be a few done after 2009 end, where the organization did not give permission to publish the results.

      Given that People CMM is a fantastic model and it is not industry or country specific, the number of appraisals done is pretty low (even accounting for a few that were not registered). In the years 2010-2011, there were only 14 appraisals registered across the 2 years.

      All those who have read the model or experienced its implementation would love to see it implemented on the same scale as SW-CMM & CMMI. Maybe even a larger scale, since it is industry agnostic!

      Hope we can do something collectively to increase the uptake of the model.

  6. Great compilation. I feel the deterrent is the appraisal cost. I keep meeting organizations who have internally studied the model and have found it very useul. However they have chosen to use the model internally without any internal or external branding about the model that they are using. If there is a way to register model adoption and benefits from the same and not just reporting assessment results, we might uncover some interesting facts!


  7. Appraisals low yes, compared to CMMI (which is a business requirement in many cases) but adoption in parts or entirety of the best practices has been there. In fact in my experience, many of the practices and processes especially till level 3 are absolutely critical for scaling. And also, a lot of the practices are implemented quite well in larger companies. Whether they would like to benchmark or not is a choice and that needs an external influence (like peer pressure, market requirement, etc.).

    But all said and done, this is a fantastic framework for a comprehensive focus on human capital.

    1. Hi Chinmay,

      I agree that many organizations claim to have adopted People CMM without the appraisal (“we are not interested in certification”, is a common refrain). In many such cases (may not be all), they just pick and chose what is convenient and comfortable and ignore the rest saying “it does not make bussssinesss sense”.
      The whole exercise ends up with the organization producing a mapping document where they have mapped some of the People CMM requirements with their current practices and marked the other requirements with “not suitable in our context”.

      Adopting People CMM in such organizations just wastes time and makes them smug (“in principle we are level x”). It is not used as an opportunity to change anything.

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