My List of Books for Implementing People CMM®

I am often asked – “which book should I use for understanding People CMM®?” I have, on several occasions, provided names of different books related to topics under discussion. So, this time when someone asked me, I decided to create a comprehensive list of books and articles that I have found useful.

I have over time referred many books, and the list below is a combination that I found useful to get more insights into generic and some specific aspects of the model.

The list is not a result of a comprehensive survey and evaluation. There are likely to be other books that are better for specific topics; and a different combination of books may work as well or better.

Anyway, here goes:
PCMM Book Cover“The People CMM® (Second Edition): A Framework for Human Capital Management” by Bill Curtis, William Hefley, and Sally Miller. Available at, and Flipkart-India .

Well,  if you want to understand the model, you need a copy of the definitive book. Without this book, other books will provide fragmented insights and will not make holistic sense. And if you are serious about understanding or implementing the model, I suggest that you get a printed version in addition to downloading a free softcopy pdf version (from SEI/ CMMI Institute site), for quick searches of specific topics and keywords.

PCMM Book of Rajesh NaikDIVERSION: You can see an image of my dog-eared copy of the paperback version. It has been with me since 2003 (an older edition). It has witnessed (if books can witness :-)) many appraisals (both pre-SCAMPI as well as SCAMPI), and many training courses. If you get really close to the book, you can smell Dalian, Manila, Riga, Bratislava, London, Colombo, Mauritius, Bangkok, Pittsburg, Austin, and many Indian cities – Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, NCR, Hyderabad, Pune, Indore, and Mysore. There are stains on different pages – coffee, tea, cranberry preserve, sambhar, apple juice – you get the picture. Someday, I hope it acquires a historic and antique value; until then I will continue to use it (and also accumulate more history :-)).

Other books that I found useful:

Human Resource Champions Cover
1) “Human Resource Champions” by David Ulrich provides an approach to HR that shifts the focus from activities to be done to outcomes to achieve. The book helped me to look at HR as a business partner with an enhanced role as a strategic player, administrative expert, employee champion, and change agent.
Available at,, and Flipkart-India.

From the Ground UP Cover
2) “From the Ground Up” by Edward Lawler III provides six principles for organizational transformation. I found it very useful for handling the change management that People CMM® implementation requires.
Available at,, and Flipkart-India.

Competitive Advantage Cover
3) “Competitive Advantage Through People” by Jeffrey Pfeffer explores how effective people management practices enable organizations to achieve superior performance, by using examples of successful companies that treat their workforce as “assets/ investments” instead of “costs/ expenses”.
Available at,, and Flipkart-India.

Balanced Scorecard Cover
4) “The Balanced Scorecard” by Robert Kaplan and David Norton. I found it useful for process areas of Performance Management and Organizational Performance Alignment.
Available at,, and Flipkart-India.

Strategy Maps Cover
5) “Strategy Maps”, once again by Robert Kaplan and David Norton, helps me in generating ideas for the process area Organizational Performance Alignment.
Available at,, and Flipkart-India.

Competence at Work Cover
6) “Competence At Work” by Lyle Spencer and Signe Spencer is the classic for setting up a competency framework and competency assessments. I keep going back to this book for the process areas – Competency Analysis and Competency Development.
Available at,, and Flipkart-India.

HR Scorecard Cover
7) “The HR Scorecard: Linking People, Strategy, and Performance” by Dave Ulrich, Mark A. Huselid, Brian E. Becker provides the framework for setting up a robust measurement program for tracking performance and effectiveness of HR/ People management in organizations. This book has been useful to me to set up the “measurement” related practices of People CMM® across many process areas.
Available at,, and Flipkart-India.

Workforce Scorecard Cover
8) “The Workforce Scorecard: Managing Human Capital To Execute Strategy” by Mark Huselid, Brian Becker, and Richard Beatty – this book (in addition to the HR Scorecard book) gave me more insights in designing effective metrics for People CMM® implementation. The book also enlightened me on how behaviors, competencies, and culture impact organizational performance.
Available at,, and Flipkart-India.

Designing Team Based Organizations Cover
9) “Designing Team-Based Organizations: New Forms for Knowledge Work” by Susan Albers Mohrman, Susan G. Cohen, Allan M. Mohrman Jr. This book provided me greater understanding of the process areas – Empowered Wokgroups, Workgroup Development and (to some extent) Competency Integration.
Available at,, and Flipkart-India.

Workforce of One Cover
10) “Workforce of One” by Susan Cantrell and David Smith enabled me to look at the aspect of customization of HR practices to meet the requirements of multiple segments of people. This is now increasingly possible because of the availability of automation for administering flexible policies. You can read a detailed review of this book on another post here .
Available at,, and Flipkart-India.

Here are two papers (not books) that have been extremely useful to me, in addition to the list above (besides, they are “classics”) .

  • The Core Competence of the Corporation by C K Prahalad, and Gary Hamel (Amazon-Digital version)
  • Fighting the War for Talent is Hazardous to Your Organization’s Health by Jeffrey Pfeffer (Free Download here).

This is my list  for People CMM®. Please use the comment/ reply facililty to add your own list of useful books for understanding/ implementing the model – a small write-up on what the book addresses and how it is useful in the context of People CMM® will help other readers.

Some book reviews uploaded on the same blog:


Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, institute, or association. They may not even be the official views of the author of this post :-).

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.

16 thoughts on “My List of Books for Implementing People CMM®”

  1. Rajesh, as usual very useful collection. You should probably add your book “Aligning Ferret” as well. It does provide a practical view on what happens in reality in various organizations and what needs to change. I loved the examples on KRA setting and perf evaluation.


    1. Hi Gopi,


      Detailed reviews on each of these books was not on my plate – If you know of places (other than Amazon, Goodreads, Google Books, which are known to everyone) where detailed reviews are available, I can post the links. Maybe you can post reviews of some of these books at your blog (

  2. Rajesh,

    Thanks for this useful post. I have also found the SEIR repository PCMM section to contain a few useful papers and presentations.



  3. A few more books that I would recommend:

    1. “Evaluating Training Programs: The Four Levels” by Donald Kirkpatrick and James Kirkpatrick – provides substantive content around designing and evaluating Training programs (Training & Development process area of the People CMM). Available at Amazon, Flipkart-India.

    2. “Leadership @ Infosys” by Matthew Barney – for practical insights into succession planning, career development process implementation. Available at Amazon, Flipkart-India.

    There are published articles from Harvard Business Review on topics like Coaching, Succession Planning, Talent Management which are good reads (also available as HBR paperbacks in most of the bookstores and at Amazon, Flipkart-India).

  4. A very nice piece as usual Rajesh. Especially liked the little narrative about your trusty PCMM book… brought a smile to my face.. 🙂

    Keep them coming..


  5. I have picked up PCMM very recently and some books which have also helped me with some of the key concepts and areas have been

    1) Teaming by Amy C. Edmondson for Workgroup Development process area. Available at Amazon.

    2) Guide to Organisation Design by Naomi Stanford for Organizational Performance Alignment process area. Available at Amazon.

    3) Coaching and Mentoring by Jane Renton for Mentoring process area. Available at Amazon.

    4) Harvard Business Review on Managing People, specifically the article Empowerment: The Emperor’s New Clothes by Chris Argyris for Empowered Workgroups process area. Available at Amazon.

    5) Harvard Business Review On Appraising Employee Performance (Harvard Business Review Paperback Series) for Performance Management process area. Available at Amazon.

  6. Feeling very proud that the latest stains of coffee on the PCMM book with you must be from Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited. Cheers. Sanjeev Doshi.

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