Many organizations have adopted the People CMM® model (by Bill Curtis, Bill Hefley, and Sally Miller) – while some have undergone formal appraisals and assessments, others have adopted the practices but not participated in any formal appraisal of their implementation.
Many of these organizations have reported benefits (attributable to the implementation of the People CMM®). Such reports are available in the Software Engineering Information Repository (SEIR). (You need to register yourself to get access to the repository – the registration is free).
Typically, benefits touted and linked with People CMM® hover around Employee Engagement Scores, Employee Voluntary Turnover/ Attrition, Cost of Hiring, Cycle-Time to Hire, Employee Productivity and Employee Utilization. (It is also interesting to note that in the same organization, credit for the same benefits are claimed by other competing initiatives like CMMI® implementation, ISO 9001, Six Sigma, and sometimes by specific improvement projects :-)).
In addition to the above benefits, entities that implement the People CMM® consistently across two to three years tend to display certain long-term changes in their behavior. It is these observed changes that are listed in the next few paragraphs. This set of benefits / changes have been observed across several organizations that have implemented People CMM®, and been appraised / assessed using a Class-A method at least once for maturity level 3 or higher.
The sequence of the benefits listed is not necessary in any order (of priority or significance or sequence of occurrence). They are also not mutually exclusive – each benefit could be feeding on the other. Here goes:
The organization increasingly takes a systems approach to its people related processes and initiatives. It understands that a small change in one process can have a large impact on (apparently) unrelated areas, because all things are inter-dependent. So, proposed changes in the organization’s policies and processes, and new initiatives are evaluated on a more holistic basis.
For example, hiring a new batch of fresh graduates at higher salaries is looked at not just from the point of view of salary cost, but also the impact on the morale of the existing staff, their engagement levels, and the impact of diversion of funds from other activities like training, certifications, and so on.
Implementation of the model promotes a long-term thinking in terms of people –numbers, skills, locations, and roles. Business plans are used to create workforce plans and people related strategies that span several years. Actions like opening new locations, building new skills and collaboration with external experts are identified well in advance to equip the organization to get ready for the future, in a cost-effective manner.
The model increases transparency, democracy and openness in the organization (People CMM® is not meant for secretive organizations :-)). Organizations set-up multiple channels communications for top-down, lateral and bottom-up movement of information. People are encouraged to participate more and more in decision making and empowered to challenge decisions taken by higher-ups. HR policies are no longer seen as cast-in-stone :-).
Implementing the People CMM® builds organizational agility and ability to execute cross-functional projects. Very few initiatives require the active participation and collaboration of all functions/ departments. People CMM® implementation requires extensive collaboration between “support” functions like HR, Facilities, and Learning & Development with the “mainline” delivery functions. The model builds the organizational muscle to handle cross organizational initiatives.
Most organizations end up with considerable level of automation of their people related practices. Aspects like performance management (goal setting, regular feedback, end-cycle feedback), compensation (normalization, rule-based increases and bonuses), promotions, training (planning and tracking), staffing (resource management, recruitment, selection, offer, joining, induction) are automated. In addition, these sub-systems get integrated and interlinked.
Management of people related aspects becomes more data driven, and supported by data analytics.
For example, employee attrition is not looked at just as a month-on-month figure, but is subject to further analysis of patterns (are people of a career level more prone to attrition? Do people typically resign after spending a certain number of years in the company? Is attrition more common with people who possess a certain skill? Do people working outside their home state have a higher tendency to resign? Is there a linkage between the annual increment cycle and the peaks seen in attrition?). The understanding achieved through the analytics is then used to change policies, or pay additional attention to a certain group of people.
The organization’s people management becomes driven more by competencies, rather than by tenure, or career level. The shift is gradual – at first, the importance shifts from seniority to demonstrated performance, and then there is a gradually increasing emphasis on competencies (knowledge, skills and process abilities). This shift to competencies start rippling through various processes like project allocation, hiring, promotions, increments, and bonuses.
Implementing the People CMM® practices enables the organization to handle scale/ growth very quickly. This is a knock-on effect of systems thinking and increased automation. The organization is able to hire faster, provide the required knowledge and skills quickly and gear up for large projects rapidly.
Another change that is seen is that the HR function becomes more of a business partner. Line functions start demanding business value from HR processes, and when such value is delivered, increase the involvement of HR in overall business strategies and decision-making.
Line managers become better people managers, reducing the load on HR, and other support functions. Line managers start providing inputs to enhance performance, help people enhance their skills, and identify and organize the required training for their people. Managers address people related issues and take responsibility to enable their teams to achieve performance (rather than redirect their team members to HR, facilities, and other support functions). In other words, line managers become HR managers for their teams.
Given below, in bullet points (we are so used to bullet points :-)), are the benefits seen by organizations implementing People CMM®.
The adoption of the model:
- drives a “systems” approach to its people related processes and initiatives
- promotes a long-term thinking in terms of the people
- increases transparency, democracy and openness
- builds organizational agility and ability to execute cross-functional projects
- increases the level of automation
- makes the organization metrics and data analytics
- drives a competency culture
- enables handling of rapid growth and scale
- makes the HR function become more of a business partner
- transforms line managers to better people managers
The above is a set of benefits observed in some of the organization that have implemented People CMM®. You may have observed other benefits or long-lasting changes.
Other related posts uploaded on the same blog:
- Adoption of People CMM® -01: Appraisal Results
- People CMM® Appraisals – 2012 Update
- Adoption of People CMM® -03: Why is it Low?
- Interview with Prakash Hegde: Experiences with People CMM® Implementation
- Interview: Monty Bharali (Head-HR, DSTWS) shares his experience with the People CMM® in a BPO-IT context
Please do share your experiences, comments and feedback by posting a reply/ comment.