Tag Archives: HCM

How Mature is High Maturity Implementation of CMMI®? – Find out at the HMBP Colloquium on 7th September, 2012 in Bangalore, India

Over the last few years the implementation of high maturity practices has evolved significantly. Some of the evolution has been driven by changes to the model, but most of change is driven by sophisticated interpretation by LAs, and through the HMLA qualification/ certification program.

To “having a few control charts”, we have added “tests of hypotheses”, “regression equations”, “Monte Carlo Simulations”, “Comprehensive PPMs” to the pot churning out HM practices.

The HMBP Colloquium (an annual event in its 3rd year), showcases what leading organizations are doing and are planning to do., This year’s HMBP Colloquium is in Bangalore on September 7, 2012. It is aptly titiled “High Maturity – Beyond Statistics & Quantification”.

I am looking forward to understand the emerging direction. And meeting all of you.

I also hope to figure out the difference between a “Colloquium” and a “Conference”. 🙂

This Colloquium  was held on Sept 7, 2012 at Le Meridian, Bangalore.


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.

Book Review – “Workforce of One” by Susan Cantrell and David Smith

I was scanning the shelves of a book lending library, when I came across this book – the title intrigued me, so I picked it up and browsed through it. Based on the title, I had imagined an extraordinary organization of one person (me!) – it turned out to be something else, but interesting enough :-). Anyway, I borrowed the book, read it, and here is the review.

The main theme of the book/ book summary is as follows:

  • In the last few years, retail customer experience has been highly customized by internet based enterprises (e.g., Amazon, Netflix, Dell) with a great degree of success.
  • Employee experience too can be customized, to provide an environment to motivate each employee to deliver his/ her best for the organization.
  • This is required because people’s expectations have changed due to their experience as customers, because other organizations are already doing it, because it enables higher employee retention, engagement and productivity, and because it increases the ability to attract high potential employees. “One size fits all” is no longer a desirable approach.
  • Customization has become feasible because of the variety of tools and technology that are increasingly available.

According to the book, workforce practices have evolved from chaotic, ad-hoc, person-specific, unstructured, unfair systems to something that is monolithic, over-controlled, one-size-fits-all, and over-standardized. And now it is time to make the systems more flexible, tailored and customized.

The authors propose a four pronged approach to this customization, comprising:

  • Segment the workforce on dimensions like geography, tenure, career level, role, age, etc. to understand the requirements and needs of different segments.
  • Offer modular choices, in areas like compensation, working hours, learning methods, working place, etc. The modularity ensures structure and equity while providing flexibility.
  • Define broad and simple rules, instead of defining very elaborate policies and procedures. This will permit flexibility while ensuring that the values of organization are adhered to.
  • Foster employee-defined personalization by making people aware and enabling managers to guide employees to make appropriate choices.

The book covers multiple areas of people practices that can be customized. Some of them are rewards and recognition, learning, work place, work time, career growth pace and choices, assignment mix, performance goal setting and feedback mechanisms, compensation mix, benefits, and work place tools/ technology.

The authors use examples from organizations like Best Buy, Microsoft, Accenture, Procter and Gamble, Deloitte, The Container Store, Royal Bank of Scotland and others.

As a reader, I found some of the examples (illustrating the concept of customization) as being trivial. For example, the authors use the fact that a multi-national organization provides company transport to employees in Hyderabad (while it does not do so elsewhere in the world) as an example of customization (geographical segmentation). To me, this is like saying that the company follows Indian labor laws in India :-).  Since the organization has set up their office far away from the city’s residential areas and the city does not have adequate public transport, there is no choice for the company but to arrange transport for the employees.

The problem with trivial examples is that on reading the examples, many people will go, “yeah, we do that, actually we started that 10 years ago”. And miss the whole concept of the customization approach.

The book is easy to read and grasp and proposes a powerful concept worth investigating. Definitely worth reading for senior HR folks and CXOs (just ignore the trivial examples :-)).

Here are some details of the book:

By the way, you DON’T need a Kindle device to read a Kindle ebook

Front Cover - Workforce Of OneBook Title: Workforce of One: Revolutionizing Talent Management Through Customization

Authors: Susan M. Cantrell, David Smith

ISBN: 1422147584; ISBN-13: 9781422147580

Binding: Hardcover

Publishing Date: Nov 2010

Publisher: Harvard Business School Publishing

Available at: Amazon.com, Amazon.in, and Flipkart

Available as eBook in Amazon Kindle.

By the way, you DON’T need a Kindle device to read a Kindle ebook.

How do the concepts covered in the book align with the People CMM®? Well, that is the subject of another post, some other day! :-).

Other book reviews uploaded on the same blog:


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.

Interview with Prakash Hegde: Experiences with People CMM® Implementation

Prakash Photo -1Prakash Hegde is a Principal Consultant with QAI. Prakash helps organizations enhance their HCM (Human Capital Management) practices and delivery processes. He has published papers and has been an invited speaker at conferences.

In this interview, Prakash shares his experiences in bringing People CMM® to organizations.

Q: Please tell us something about your professional history/ background

I started my career as an Engineer-Trainee in an engineering & project management consultancy firm. I spent early years of my career in design and implementation (and generally running around) in turnkey projects associated with chemical and petrochemical plants. Then there was an inflection point when I decided to do something different in life. This led me to take a break to add a MBA qualification to my resume.

The IT bug, the promise of more moolah, and more pleasant working conditions meant a switch in career, and I drifted into the world of Quality (ISO, CMM®, CMMI®, etc). In early 2001, my organization took up People CMM® implementation (post CMM® ML5). Since I was a part of the SEPG, I was drafted into the task force on People CMM® (not necessarily with my consent!) – and that was my first brush with this HCM model. My stint in QAI since the past 6 years has provided me the opportunity to pursue interests around HCM practices (in addition to Software Process Improvement and Project Management). With mentoring from more experienced colleagues, I have delivered on People CMM® and other HR enga gements for multiple clients across software, BPO, manufacturing, banking, and consulting industry segments.

When I reflect back on my career, the journey has been exciting with its fair share of thrills (experiencing different cultures in different countries, abiding friendships with folk in my client organizations) and anxieties (lost luggage, delayed flights and running into the training hall to face exasperated participants, contributing to increase in hotel occupancy rates and dealing with the associated repercussions of work-life imbalances :-)).

Q: In the HCM space, what kind of consulting do you do?

Well, I provide “end-to-end consulting” on People CMM® (classic consulting jargon :-)).

To put it simply, I conduct an assessment of the client’s current systems and processes to do an initial benchmarking with respect to People CMM® Level x (2, 3, 4, or 5) and draw out the roadmap for actions to be taken.

I also support the clients in redesigning and streamlining their HR systems, conduct implementation checks and audits, and provide training  on different themes to help them reach various milestones of the People CMM® journey.

And then there are clients with whom I have been involved in focused improvement projects around building competency frameworks, designing assessment methodologies, conducting HR process audits, and setting up performance management systems using Balanced Score Cards and HR Score Cards.

Q: What industries have you consulted on People CMM®?        

Most of my clients have been from the IT industry. However, in the last few years, I have also gained some insight into people practices and challenges in other industries like manufacturing, banking and insurance through the People CMM® engagements.

Q: Some HR experts say that People CMM® is only for IT companies – your views.

There is a perception among some HR experts that People CMM® is only for IT companies. This perception must have arisen due to the fact that the early adopters of People CMM® have been IT (Software and ITes) type of organizations. Also the fact that the “CMM®” frameworks have been traditionally associated with IT. That the Software Engineering Institute is the custodian for this framework may have further boosted this perception.

Many IT organizations with a large and diverse workforce have felt the need to put in place systems and structures to manage their workforce. And since the USP of the People CMM® lies in the fact that it promotes a “system based view of HR”, it found a natural home in IT firms. However, as awareness has spread through the HR community, people realize that People CMM® helps scale up, and streamline processes in any industry where it is necessary to attract, develop, deploy, and retain people to improve business results.

People CMM® has a structured maturity based approach to HR systems comprising around 500 good practices with competency as a key theme. It has moved beyond IT to banks, hospitality, manufacturing, insurance and consulting companies.

In my view, the next few years will see a lot more traction for People CMM® adoption as businesses realize the benefits of adoption and see this as a “natural and best fit” framework for scaling up talent management practices.

I also find that large consulting firms have a vested interest in their clients not implementing the People CMM®. (I have commented on this on an earlier post in AlignMentor, here. I repeat my comments).

HR consulting firms, both big and of the boutique variety, are engaged by organizations for specific interventions like competency dictionary creation, employee satisfaction surveys, psychometric assessments, and at times, for writing HR processes.

This work soon becomes an “annuity” kind of business for the consulting firms. The consulting firms tend to implement solutions locally. HR heads eventually raise concerns like “we are stuck” and “there are many overall integration issues and we are not able to reap long term benefits from such recurring investments”. Because these solutions are not embedded into a larger systemic framework of HR, they operate in silos and acquire a life of their own; and over time, become “vehicles set in motion that cannot be controlled”, even if the organization sees diminishing returns.

At the risk of sounding like an “evangelist” for People CMM®, I believe that People CMM® provides that overall architecture (and binding glue) for a HR framework that can integrate and align various pieces to business needs.

At times however, this can threaten the “localized” approaches taken by consulting firms.

I have seen organizations (while on the People CMM® journey) start to question the relevance of such local initiatives, as they increasingly view these through the prism of the overall HR architecture.

And that is why some consulting firms tend to down-play (and sometimes bad mouth) the use of People CMM®. I have also come across published articles where some consulting firms try to spread an impression that People CMM® is very IT-Industry specific, very certification oriented and does not provide value.

Since the model is a bit difficult to read and comprehend (requires “systems thinking” mindset to understand the essence), such “hear say” tends to gain credence.

The greatest advocates for the utility of People CMM® are those HR and business heads who have experienced a few cycles of the implementation. In my view, implementation of People CMM® provides a great opportunity for HR to do some serious spring cleaning of their legacy systems, tie up loose ends, and build solutions to address systemic pain points.

Q: What are the key challenges in P-CMM® implementation in the banking industry?

I will touch upon a few of the implementation challenges that I have encountered in banks that are using the People CMM®:

  • Delivery of HR processes in retail banking. Retail units are spread across the country, in tier 1, 2 and 3 locations. Each location has very few employees, and so, it is not physically possible for them to be in direct contact with the HR folks.  In such a situation, the reach of HR services and building employee engagement across the units is one of the key challenges.
  • Getting the buy-in of the line functions (like Treasury, Investment Banking, Capital markets) for their participation in evolving competency dictionaries.
  • Line management involvement in individual performance feedback, appraisals and people development.
  • Instituting KM (Knowledge Management) practices.
  • Putting in place effective mentoring programs.
  • Delegation of authority as a conscious “thought-through” approach to enable agility in decision making.
  • And of course getting bankers to attend people management related training programs, and sensitizing them on the need to take up accountability for staff development in addition to delivering their core banking services!

Some banks have been able to address the above challenges to a large extent by taking the overall guidance from the People CMM® framework.

Q: What are the key challenges in People CMM® implementation in manufacturing organizations?

I am listing a few key challenges faced in the manufacturing contexts:

  • Getting line managers who have been in the system for 25 plus years to build people management skills and engage with the next generation workforce.
  • Creating accelerated career paths for an impatient and aspirational new generation workforce.
  • Old timers are not net savvy, and hence there is lots of paper based documentation. This increases cycle time for many HR processes like recruitment, performance management, promotions, and even identification of training needs.
  • Implementing competency based practices as against the traditional experience based, hierarchical systems.
  • Administering employee satisfaction surveys for unionized labor that form a significant and critical portion of the workforce.
  • Top-down and bottom-up communication on HR policies and practices, and grievance handling is a challenge because of diversity in the workforce (management staff, non-management staff, and contract workmen spread across factories in interior regions).
  • Managing risks related to “mass retirement” in a given year that may result in loss of key skills and knowledge derived from decades of specialized experience.

Q: From your experience, when organizations start with People CMM®, what are their expectations?  How do you manage such expectations?

I would categorize my experiences into 2 categories.

  1. Organizations that think that they are already at level x of the People CMM®, because they have won some HR awards! Such organizations tend to expect to be assessed to Level 3 or Level 5 within a very short time.
  2. Organizations that believe they don’t need a rating but want to only use People CMM® to enhance their practices.

In scenario 1 above, we urge organizations to undertake a formal orientation program on the model with an expert, to help them understand the nuances and sub-texts of the framework. This orientation program provides a much better perspective to stakeholders in the organization on the People CMM® requirements and intent, and helps them do a mental calibration of existing practices with the new understanding so obtained.

This is followed by a diagnostic study (or gap analysis) of their existing people management systems. This includes conducting focus group discussions with the staff across the senior, middle and lower level cadres to understand the perception on people practices and delivery, in addition to examining documents containing policies, procedures and implementation data.

The diagnostic study helps organizations get an objective view of their strengths and weakness with regard to the requirements of the model. This forms the basis for drawing out a detailed plan of action to reach the desired maturity level.

I have seen organizations re-calibrate their expectations significantly on the time-frame required (basically they realize that they need a looong time!) to reach the desired maturity level based on the above interventions.

In scenario 2, organizations start off without any stated goal of formally reaching a level. As they progress and realize the early benefits by implementing the model, they pick up urgency towards completing the journey by asking for a formal appraisal. A formal P-CMM® appraisal resulting in a possible maturity level X level also acts as a boost to the implementation team and gives the team greater confidence, and recognition for the effort they have put in.

Q: From your experience, how long do organizations take to reach maturity level 3?

Approximately 12- 15 months for medium-sized organizations, if they already have most of the basic maturity level 2 practices. Overall the timeline depends on the scope, size, locations and ability to propagate and manage changes to workforce practices, resulting from the implementation of the model.

Q: Again, based on your experience, do the organizations manage to sustain their processes after the appraisal?

After all the change management and momentum built up towards an appraisal milestone, we have seen that organizations tend to slacken a bit in the months immediately thereafter.

In my view, what helps organizations sustain their practices are:

  • Establishing an internal governance mechanism to review the state of implementation, through score cards and internal audits that includes senior management oversight.
  • Having an external entity conduct periodic audits to check continuing implementation.
  • Having an internal team that focuses on not only sustained implementation, but also checks on continued effectiveness of HR practices and undertakes next level of improvements.
  • Of course, the fact that People CMM® appraisal results have a shelf life (3 years) also provides a sense of focus; no organization would like to be de-listed from the SEI published results database!

Prakash Photo 2Prakash Hegde is a Principal Consultant with QAI India Ltd. He may be contacted at prakash.hegde@qaiglobal.com or prakashhegde@yahoo.com. You may also reach him via his LinkedIn page.

Thank you, Prakash, for sharing your experiences and insights!

Other related posts uploaded on the same blog:

Notes:

The views presented above represent the personal views of Prakash Hegde and are in no manner reflective of the official views of QAI, or AlignMentor, or any other organization.


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.

Adoption of People CMM® -03: Why is it Low?

In a previous post titled Adoption of People CMM® – 01: Appraisal Results (Also see People CMM® Appraisals – 2012 Update), we looked at the reported appraisal data and realized that the number of reported appraisals in any given year hovers between five and ten. There may be a few appraisals that are not reported. Even factoring in the unreported appraisals, the number of appraisals is still low.

However, some people argue that number of appraisals is not equal to the number of organizations adopting the model. Many organizations claim to have adopted People CMM® (by Bill Curtis, Bill Hefley, and Sally Miller) without undergoing an appraisal (“we are not interested in certification”, is a common refrain).

Yes, there are a few of such organizations too. And some of them have seriously adopted the model.

But in many such cases, they just pick and choose what is convenient and comfortable and ignore the rest of the model saying “it does not make bussssinessss sense”. The whole exercise ends up with an internally produced document where some of the People CMM® requirements are mapped with the organization’s current practices. Other inconvenient People CMM® practices (that may have been useful) are marked with “not suitable in our context”. This makes the organizations smug (“in principle we are maturity level x”). The fun starts when someone says, “then let us go get our level x”. Then they call in external experts, and realize how far they are from the desired level.

Coming back to the reasons for the low adoption of People CMM®.

TargetThe most important reason is that there is no external pressure, unlike in the case of CMMI® or ISO. Customers normally do not ask vendors whether they are appraised to the People CMM®. Even if an organization does get itself appraised once, there is no pressure for re-appraisals.

The listing of People CMM® on PARS is a good move, as it creates peer pressure.

CommunicateThe lack of awareness of the model is another important reason. Not many people know about the model. The knowledge is restricted to a few folks (process engineers and quality professionals in IT companies) already familiar with the SEI and the CMM® models. Most CEOs and HR heads are totally unaware of it. There is almost no mention of People CMM® in journals like HBR, nor is it discussed in conferences related to Business Excellence or Human Capital Management.

ProgrammerMost people who are aware of the framework mentally tag it as a model for the IT/ SW industry. There is almost no practice in the model that aligns it to any specific industry. Organizations in the banking, hospitality, engineering, and manufacturing have found it as useful as IT companies. (However, the model document also has too many references to the software industry in the first few sections that contain information about the background and genesis of the model – this is likely to have reinforced the perception of its IT centricity. Maybe the authors can do something about it in the next version).

ChampionIn many companies, the current organizational structure does not enable any group in the company to easily take up the initiative – so it is nobody’s baby. It has been repeated multiple times that “it is not a HR model” – this message has unintended consequences – HR is reluctant to take it up as an initiative. But to cross maturity level 2, HR has to take an active part. Process engineering groups will usually not champion for People CMM® because (1) they have other headaches :-(, like CMMI®, ISO 20K, ISO 27K, etc., and (2) they don’t want to intrude into HR territory.

Based on the set of organizations that have implemented the model (known to the writer),  the People CMM® initiative has been taken either by the HR head or the CEO. And CEOs usually have many other things on their plate. We should stop emphasizing “it is not a HR model”.

ExhaustedMost organizations are now perpetually going from one certification (audit/ appraisal/ assessment) to another causing appraisal fatigue – each model has a 1-3 year re-appraisal/ surveillance cycle. Even the thought of picking up another long-term initiative seems to exhaust them. People CMM® is put on the backburner, “to be picked up when we have more time”.

SlowdownRepeated economic slowdowns in the last few years have made companies postpone their People CMM® initiative. Who wants a model to “attract and retain” people when organizations are trying to do “right-sizing” 😉 every two years?

Lack of adoption feeds on itself – the question often asked is “if People CMM® is so great, why haven’t more organizations adopted it? Even after so many years”?

JudgeMany companies fear that the appraisal results may provide fodder for litigation by disgruntled employees (this is true in countries prone to litigations). For example, a finding that, “there is no structured mechanism for handling employee grievances” can be used by litigating employees to strengthen their case against the organization.

{<Start of Digression>: The pre-SCAMPISM version of the People CMM® assessment method had a step for “review by legal” before presenting the final findings. An impasse with the legal team on the wordings of some finding could mean that the assessment was abandoned before the final findings. There is no such explicit requirement in the SCAMPISM method <End of Digression>}.

UncomfortableIn many organizations, HR is uncomfortable with the concepts of process engineering, data analytics and the possible transparency that People CMM® is likely to bring about. HR also lacks program management experience and skills to run long-term, organization-wide programs like People CMM®.

ProtectLarge consulting firms have a vested interest in their clients not implementing People CMM®. Consulting firms have their own proprietary methodologies and tools to implement competency definitions, salary restructuring, right sizing, role rationalization, and so on. They not only set up the framework, but also provide consultants (usually fresh MBAs) for execution. These are huge contracts, and cyclical in nature, locking the client organization perpetually. Implementing People CMM® actually frees up the clients from these huge contracts, as the organization realizes that it can do a better job of the setting up and changing the people related processes (using internal staff), than handing over the job to expensive consultants.

Reading to SleepThe model is not easy reading – it is heavy and legalistic. Most people trying to get an overview of People CMM® find the material sleep-inducing. Here is what one HR Head said “I kept the model next to my bedside a year ago. I try to read it every night, but I am usually fast asleep in less than a page.” While the model book is more like reference material (and hence it is precise, complete, and unambiguous – and rightly so), there isn’t any alternate light reading material available for busy executives (with a short span of attention :-)) to excite them.

Then there are other frivolous reasons stated, like “we desperately want to implement it, but can’t find the model/ book” (huh? – have they tried Googling? Or searching on any online bookstore like Amazon or Flipkart?). Anyways, the model as a pdf document is freely downloadable from the SEI site here.

The print/ paper version of the book is available at Amazon.com, Amazon.in, and Flipkart .

There has been an animated discussion on the topic in the LinkedIn group called “People CMM” (http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1927506), for those who want to read other views.

So, where do we go from here?

The good news is that it is a great model. And the industry still needs a framework to address people management holistically. People CMM® is still the only comprehensive model available today, and there is no other competing framework.

SEI can lobby with the Government and DoD to adopt the model either for themselves or make it highly desirable (if not mandatory) for their vendors. The initial push helps. This is how many models/ frameworks became widely used, and SEI is best placed to lobby, as it is a DoD establishment.

We need to spread awareness using multiple forums, like conferences, journal, websites, and blogs where CEOs, HR folks and consultants hang out. We also need to do it across a wide range of industries to remove the “IT/SW” tag that the model carries. Talking about People CMM® in SEPG conferences, SPIN forums and LA meets is good, but is not going to take us far. Spreading awareness can be done by anyone who believes that the model is useful – SEI, partners, consultants, LAs and organizations who have benefitted from implementing the model.

We also need to tone down the message “it is not a HR model”. This message often makes the HR folks shy away from heartily taking up the model for implementation. No other organizational group has more at stake than HR, at least at maturity level 2. And without HR providing its wholehearted support, implementation of maturity level 2 process areas is almost impossible.

Finally, SEI can reduce the royalty and annual license fees for People CMM® related services, till the volumes start picking up. This will make the training and appraisal services cheaper to the end users, and make it a little bit easier to gain an entry.

Other related posts uploaded on the same blog:

Please do share your experiences, comments and feedback by posting a reply/ comment.

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.

Adoption of People CMM® -02: Benefits Experienced

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.

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:

SystemThe 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.

Long TermImplementation 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.

CollaborationThe 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 :-).

AgilityImplementing 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.

AutomationMost 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.

Analytics

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 drCompetentiven 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.

Growth ScaleImplementing 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.

Business PartnerAnother 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.

ManagerLine 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:

Please do share your experiences, comments and feedback by posting a reply/ comment.


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.

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.

People CMM® Appraisal Results now on CMMI Institute Website

People CMM® appraisal results are now published on CMMI Institute (earlier SEI’s website) https://sas.cmmiinstitute.com/pars/pars.aspx

Many organizations have benefited from the implementation of People CMM(R). However, till now, there was no easy way to communicate successful appraisal result to all relevant stakeholders.

Starting 2010, all People CMM® SCAMPISM Class A appraisal results will be published on the PARS website (after appropriate permissions and quality checks).

So, now you have one more reason to pursue and validate your HR related improvements using the People CMM®, the de facto standard for world-class people related processes.

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.