Tag Archives: SCAMPI

Extension Appraisals and Delta Appraisals – Planned changes in SCAMPI(sm)

Some months ago, a new version of the MDD (v1.3a) was released. One of the reactions to the announcement was “does it have provision for extending current appraisal results beyond 3 years?” Or “Is there some kind of surveillance being added to increase the validity?” or “is there a SCAMPISM – M (M for maintenance) in this new version?” Well, the version released in Oct 2013 (v1.3a) does not have it.

However, the draft of a new version contains proposals for extension of appraisal results.

There are two key proposed enhancements in the SCAMPISM method. These are a part of the draft version (v1.4 draft) of the MDD and have been circulated for review comments. The two key enhancements are:

  1. SCAMPISM A Extension (SCAMPISM-E, also known as SCAMPISM-M – maintenance). If approved, this will be an option available to entities that are already appraised on SCAMPISM-A and would like to extend the validity/ expiry date of their appraisal rating(s) beyond the 3 year period, at a lower cost, effort, on-site period, and disruption.
  2. Action Plan Reappraisals (Delta appraisals). Note: Action Plan Reappraisals have been incorporated in the SCAMPI method since Dec 2014. Read more about it here.
    At present, if an organization “fails” their target rating(s), we have to carry out a full SCAMPISM-A reappraisal after fixing the weaknesses. This means a high cost, effort, on-site period, and disruption, even if the re-appraisal is within a short period of the original failed appraisal. Action Plan Reappraisals (if approved) provides an option for the organization to do a reappraisal that is focussed in and around the offending areas (areas of weaknesses responsible for the unsatisfactory ratings), with lower appraisal overhead.

As expected, these two enhancements come with their conditions and parameters and limits and their own methods/ processes. Please note that these two additions/ enhancements are in the draft/ pilot/ review stages and what is finally released may be significantly different.

Read on if these are of interest to you…

Extension Appraisals

Present versions of the MDD do not include any form of surveillance audits (like ISO 9001). The proposal introduces the concept of performing an appraisal to extend the validity period of SCAMPISM A ratings with a significantly reduced cost while maintaining the integrity of the SCAMPISM A results. Here are some highlights of the proposed enhancement:

  1. SCAMPISM-A Extension (let us call it SCAMPISM-E) can be used to extended the validity of the SCAMPISM-A by 2 years.
  2. The SCAMPISM-E needs to be conducted before the expiry of SCAMPISM-A validity
  3. SCAMPISM-E can be used only once for a SCAMPISM-A to extend the validity. That means a second extension cannot be done. So, after the validity period (2 years) of the extension, a full SCAMPISM-A needs to conducted for a fresh rating (or a set  of ratings).
  4. For SCAMPISM-E eligibility, the OU should not have undergone changes in their sampling factors and sampling factor values (type of work, locations, organization structure, etc.) between the SCAMPISM-A and the SCAMPISM-E.
  5. The OU and the model scope (e.g., target maturity level, PAs, capability levels) cannot be increased from that used the original SCAMPISM-A  (though the SCAMPISM-E scope can decrease from the original SCAMPISM-A)
  6. Along with other conditions, the SCAMPISM-E investigation must cover at least 1/3 of the model sope applicable (1/3 of the specific goals and 1/3 of the generic practices). This aspect is expected to bring in significant savings in effort, and cycle time during the onsite period.
  7. The subset of specific goals and generic practices proposed for investigation need to be reviewed by the CMMI Institute. The CMMI Institute can select additional specific goals and generic practices.

Action Plan Reappraisal

At present, if a SCAMPISM-A results in an adverse rating (lower than the target level(s)), the organization needs to go through the whole SCAMPISM-A process to get the desired rating. This could mean a different sample of projects, and hence collection of data, and sometimes interviewing the same set of people and asking similar questions all over again. The Action Plan Reappraisal provides the organization the option of addressing the weaknesses and subsequently performing a reappraisal that will, if successful, result in obtaining targeted appraisal ratings. Some highlights:

  1. If approved, the action plan reappraisal (Delta reappraisal) option will be available for a SCAMPISM-A as well as a SCAMPISM-A Extension (SCAMPISM-E) discussed above
  2. To be valid, this reappraisal needs to be completed within a defined period (4 months) of the ‘failed’ appraisal
  3. In the reappraisal, the goals that were determined as not satisfied need to be re-examined
  4. Only one such action plan reappraisal is permitted

Please note that these two additions/ enhancements are in the draft/ pilot/ review stages and what is finally released may be significantly different, or may not get approved at all for some time.

You can get more information in the links below:

Discussions on linkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/SCAMPI-Maintenance-Appraisal-SCAMPI-M-54046.S.176296625

A presentation from Nov 2012 @ NDIA Conference: http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2012CMMI/W15024_Campo.pdf

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

Please feel free to to share your views, experiences, and queries, using the “comments” feature available.
You may also forward the link to this post to your friends, colleagues, and anyone else who may be interested.

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, institute, country, government, 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.

New SCAMPI MDD (v1.3a) Released on Oct, 2013

The CMMI Institute has released a new version of the SCAMPISM MDD in October 2013. The full title is Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI) Version 1.3a: Method Definition Document for SCAMPI A, B, and C.

The new version may be downloaded from the CMMI Institute site.

From January 1, 2014, all appraisal submissions (including SCAMPISM Class B and C) must comply with the new document.

So, what are the key changes in the new method?

  1. The main change has been to upgrade the Class B and Class C methods to v1.3. The earlier version of MDD addressed only the Class A method. Till the release of v1.3a, Class B and C were covered by a Handbook whose version was v1.1. This handbook was not compatible with version 1.3 of ARC. And the current SAS (appraisal database) was out of sync in its terminology with the handbook. All that seems to be now rectified. SCAMPISM Class B and C methodolgy will be compatible with the current SAS and ARC v1.3.
  2. A quick scan of the new MDD did not show any change to the SCAMPISM  Class A method. It remains the same as in the earlier version of the MDD (v1.3). So, no significant change is needed if you have started planning a Class – A SCAMPISM  appraisal in the near future. However, it will be better to download the new document and confirm for yourself.

Download the new version from here.

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

Please feel free to to share your views, experiences, and queries, using the “comments” feature available.
You may also forward the link to this post to your friends, colleagues, and anyone else who may be interested.

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, institute, country, government, 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.

People CMM® Appraisals – 2012 Update

An year has passed since I made the first post summarizing data related to Class-A appraisals for the People CMM®. (the post was Adoption of People CMM® -01: Appraisal Results).

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

Here is the updated data with the People CMM® SCAMPISM-A published results of 2012 added:

No. of People CMM® Appraisals

Data for 2010, 2011 and 2012 has been picked up from the Published Appraisal Results Site maintained by the CMMI Institute. Earlier data has been picked up from multiple sources as given in the table. Some appraisals may be missing from the data, if the appraised entity did not wish to publish the results (for whatever reasons).

Further analysis of the past 20 appraisals (of the last 3 years) listed in the Published Appraisal Results Site (with Filter People CMM® v2.0)  shows the following:

  • The six appraisals of 2012 were led by three LAs (D Sankararaman, K Kothandaraman and Rajesh Naik).
  • The 20 People CMM® appraisals (of the last 3 years) were accounted for between four LAs.
  • There are 9 authorized LAs for the model on 13-Feb 2013 (the number of LAs was 13 last year). Four of the nine have done at least one SCAMPISM-A appraisal in the last 3 years. (for a list of People CMM® LAs go to the Partner Directory; select “CMMI Institute Authorized SCAMPI with People CMM Lead Appraiser” option –> you will get the list of LAs for People CMM®).
  • Most appraised organizations of the last 3 years belong to the IT, ITes and engineering domains.
  • Accenture – Tech units across the globe has the highest number of entries in the list of the last 3 years.

The reasons for the low number of appraisals for People CMM® have been discussed in the post Adoption of People CMM® -03: Why is it Low?  – I believe the same reasons continue to apply even today.

Hope we have a greater adoption of the model and more number of reported appraisals in 2013 and beyond.

Other related posts uploaded on the same blog:

Notes:

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 :-).

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


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: D Sankararaman – a Consultant-cum-LA’s view of People CMM®

Shankar Photo 1Sankararaman D (Shankar for short) is a consultant and trainer on project management, operational and HR process improvement. He works for QAI. He has published articles and has been an invited speaker at many conferences and institutes. In this interview, Shankar shares his experiences on People CMM®, as a consultant and a lead appraiser for the model.

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

A:    I have a chequered journey in terms of studies as well as my jobs. The net outcome of the journey is that I am an engineering graduate and a management student. I have worked in MIS, EDP, Software Development, Pre-sales, support, Software Quality roles before landing up in a consulting career. Most of what has happened to me in my professional career has happened by accident rather than by design. And I have been happy with these accidents .

Q:    What kind of work do you do?

A:    I work with various organizations helping them improve their processes. I also train people on various topics like estimation, project management, and process management. I am a lead appraiser. This means that I am a “level maniac” who goes around attempting to stamp every organization with anything from level -10 to level 42.

Q:    Please let us know the industries for which you have done People CMM® appraisals

A:    I have done for the “usual” suspects 🙂 – IT organizations and BPO organizations. Additionally, I have also been involved in appraisals for Banks, Consulting organizations, and R & D organizations as well. Other than appraisals, I have also done training and consulting with firms in domains like insurance.

Q:    Is the pressure on the “certification” aspect as high in People CMM® as in CMMI®?

A:     No and Yes. First, let me clarify the “No” part. Fortunately, no client or RFP or RFT insists that an organization should be People CMM® “certified” by a particular date. As a consequence, we seldom come across organizations trying to use 10 cars travelling parallel at 100 kms to reach a 1000 km destination in 1 hour. Companies that pursue People CMM® appraisals do it driven mainly by internal triggers and the value of People CMM® perceived by them.
Coming to the “Yes” part of the response. There are a few times, when organizations chase their internal deadlines. In my view, this may not be completely bad. If organizations don’t have a target, then they risk never accomplishing anything. With a target, there tends to be frantic activity closer to the target date. But, that is better than doing nothing.

Q:    Most organization either aim for ML 3 or ML 5 (very rarely ML 2 or ML 4). What are the reasons? And what do you advice?

A:    I believe there is a long legacy and more of informal convention to this rather than a logical basis. The advice depends on the organization’s situation and needs. If one is looking for early results and to achieve some milestones to build momentum, then the organization should undergo a formal appraisal for ML 2.
Organizations that have a strong record of basic HR practices and have validated the same with respect to the People CMM® can pursue an initial roadmap for ML3.
In any case, organizations should ensure that they have implemented, institutionalized, and validated their ML 3 implementation through a formal appraisal before pursuing ML 4 and ML 5.

Regarding ML 4 and ML 5, it is extremely important that organizations have absolute clarity on why they are pursuing the higher levels.  The quantum of the delivery organization / business organization’s involvement in ML 4 and ML 5 goes up manifold. So, CXO level commitment is critical as well.
Organizations that are for the first time journey crossing ML3 should seriously consider completing a ML 4 appraisal before pursuing a ML 5 journey.

Q:    Do you find that organizations get lasting benefits on implementing People CMM®?

A:     Your question is almost like asking “Do you get lasting benefits from the library in your house?” or even worse “Do you get lasting benefits from the gym that you are a member of?” Obviously, it depends on what I do in the library (read, sleep, gossip, gamble, ….) or in the gym (visit a fast food joint after a brief chat session in the gym!). Similarly, it depends significantly on how the organizations approach the implementation of People CMM®. I have seen a number of organizations who have a sustained focus on HR process implementation and they have seen lasting benefits.

To restate this discussion, Can lasting benefits be obtained by organizations through People CMM®? Without doubt, Yes.

Does it depend on People CMM® or the organization? It depends more on the organization rather than on People CMM®.

Q:    Are the benefits higher on implementing ML3 or on implementing ML5?

A:    I would say that the correct question should be “Are the benefits higher on implementing ML3 alone or when we implement ML3 and ML 5. The definitive part is that there are lasting benefits to be had by implementing ML3 in a well institutionalized manner.

The incremental benefits of implementing ML 4 and ML5 require certain pre-requisites. Some of these include: What is the organizational size? Very small organizations may not gain substantially from implementing all the higher maturity practices of People CMM®. In fact, they may face challenges in implementing higher maturity practices effectively. How stable or challenging is the organization’s business situation? Another pre-requisite for harvesting the benefits of ML4 and ML5 is involvement from the business / delivery organization including the executive management. Also, organizations with a strong culture of management using quantitative data for decision making are likely to benefit more by implementing ML4 and ML5.

Q:    What kind of organizations should go for a ML3 appraisal?

A:    In my view, any organization that is serious about its employees and their relevance to the business should implement at least till ML3. It is a different question as to whether they should undergo a formal appraisal. It does help when organizations have first imbibed a basic process culture through implementation of ISO 9001 and / or CMMI ML3. These help faster adoption of People CMM® and that in turn helps sustain these other standards and models.

Q:    What kind of organizations should go for ML5? Shankar Photo2

A:     There are multiple aspects to consider. Any organization with a serious focus on their business performance, employee skills and alignment can benefit from the key themes of  ML4 and ML5 viz.,. aspects like knowledge management, mentoring, and controlled improvement of HR practices.

To implement ML4 and ML5 effectively, I would premise that these organizations have collected data for a long period; they have sustained their competency based practices over several cycles; they are reasonably large (headcount more than 1000 employees) for them to adapt pattern (data) driven decision making and benefit from the same.

Q:    What is the benefit in taking a target level and doing a SCAMPI-A for People CMM®? Why can’t we ignore the formal appraisal and just implement the mode? What will they lose? They will save some time and money and annoying interactions with the LA :-).

A:     I have worked with three variants of organizations. Organizations that have just implemented the model, and not done a formal appraisal. Organizations that have implemented the model and have undergone a semi-formal appraisal like a SCAMPI B. And of course, organizations that have culminated their journey with a formal SCAMPI A and a maturity level.

Curiously enough, we have observed the extent of institutionalization has been strongest in organizations who have culminated their journey in a formal SCAMPI A. May be it is just that organizations who pursue a formal maturity level implement their processes more rigorously than those who don’t.

If the leadership focus and internal intent is there, organizations might as well not go for the formal appraisal. It is just that the data till date indicates otherwise.

Q:    Are there any process areas in People CMM® that are just not worth the effort, as you have observed in many organizations? And these are implemented only for the sake of the appraisal?

A:     In my personal opinion, there are certain parts of People CMM® that are not effectively appreciated in implementation. These include important themes like delegation of authority covered in a process area called Participatory Culture.

There is also the process area called Workgroup Development, and this a subject to various interpretations.

There is a case for looking at re-presenting these process areas and themes in alternate ways for effective understanding and implementation by the user community.

The other perception that we have heard from many of the users is that it is heavy in terms of the language and phrases used. And there are people who have opined that certain themes like communication and coordination have been repeated multiple times in model.

In a sense, there may be an opportunity to simplify the model and make it more compact as well.

Q:    The SCAMPI methodology was created with CMMI® in mind. Is it suitable for People CMM®? Which aspects of the appraisal method are out of sync with the model in your experience?

A: The current version of the SCAMPI method (SCAMPI 1.3) was developed / refined keeping in mind all the constellations of CMMI® as well as People CMM®. So, it is as suitable for People CMM® as it is for CMMI® constellations.

The method also provides the lead appraiser and the sponsor several tailoring options. So, it is up to the lead appraiser to suitably leverage the method and adhere to the method to perform an effective appraisal. In my experience, I have not come across any significant aspects that I would as unsuitable.

Shankar Photo 3Q:    Could you tell us about other frameworks / models in the similar area? How good are they?

A:    The other frameworks that we have come across include concepts like “Investor in People” and Human Resource Excellence Framework. The aspects where People CMM® scores compared to these models and concepts are in terms of adopting a systems approach, promoting institutionalization, and emphasizing on a competency driven approach as a fulcrum for people management

Shankar is a Consulting Partner with QAI where he leads the People CMM® Practice. He may be contacted at rfsankar@yahoo.com or rfsankar@yahoo.com. His linkedin profile is here.

Thank you, Shankar, for sharing these useful insights.

Other related posts uploaded on the same blog:

Notes:

The views presented above represent the personal views of D Sankararaman and are in no manner reflective of the official views of QAI, SEI, or AlignMentor or any other organization, community, group, or association.


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.

Multi-Model CMMI® Appraisals – Factors to Consider

In the last few months, I have been frequently asked the question, “Should we do our DEV and SVC appraisal as a single multi-model appraisal?” This question is posed usually by large IT organizations in India. These organizations have already been appraised at ML5 of the DEV model (maybe more than once). And they now are on the verge of their first SVC appraisal in 2012. I guess the issue of multi-model appraisals will become more important in another 1-2 years, when the next round DEV and SVC appraisals are due for many organizations.

Well, the answer is “it depends”:-).

In this note we will try to understand the factors to consider (elaboration of what “it depends” on), so that you can take them into account when you face the situation. This note has been put together with a large dose of inputs from D Sankararaman, Mukul Madan, and V Seshadri. These were validated by Channaveer Patil and Dan He. However, they are not responsible for any errors that may have crept into this note.

Multi-model appraisals are covered in detail in Appendix G of the SCAMPISM A v1.3 Method Definition Document (MDD) downloadable from here.

One appraisal team’s experience on a multi-model appraisal (SCAMPISM v1.2 completed in 2010) at TCS is shared in a SEPGSM 2011 presentation by Ron Radice, et al, is available here.

Disclaimer – this note is not definitive, nor is it an “official” position paper of any organization or lead appraiser. However, it may be considered as one of the inputs while evaluating the option of a multi-model appraisal.

The current queries for multi-model appraisals are typically arising from organizations wanting to do DEV+SVC together, and hence we will use that situation as an example in this note. However, multi-model appraisals could comprise any combination of two or more of DEV, SVC, ACQ and People CMM®, and the factors discussed in this note apply to the other situations as well.

Here are the factors to consider.

Organizational Disruption. If you are a big organization, you could have either two (or more) long organizational disruptions, or one mega-ultra-long disruption. The choice is yours :-).

Number of ATMs. In multi-model appraisal you are likely to need lesser number of ATMs trained on the models. Assuming that you will try to keep a gap of a few months between the two appraisals (if done separately), the number of ATMs trained on the models may need to be higher, if you are doing the appraisals separately. During the interval between the two appraisals, the ATMs may resign, retire, go on leave, be allocated to some other useful work (assuming that they are still capable of doing some other useful work :-)), or just refuse to be ATMs again (“not another appraisal as ATM!”). So instead of training a bunch of 10-12 people on the models, you may have to train a higher number if you are doing the appraisals separately.

LA/ ATL requirements. For a multi-model appraisal, you will need to engage a lead appraiser appropriately certified as SCAMPISM-A LA for all the models (constellations, actually) covered in the appraisal. Therefore, the choice of LAs on multi-model appraisals may be significantly lower, especially if your appraisal is “high-maturity” (ML 4 or ML 5).

LA Willingness. The calendar time for the on-site activities for a multi-model appraisal is definitely going to be much higher than for a single model appraisal (this is also discussed as a separate factor later on). LAs may not be willing stay away from their families, pets and home city for such a long time. Or they may demand a fat sum as hardship allowance :-).

Sampling of Projects (or Workgroups). This does not change whether you are doing a single multi-model appraisal or two separate appraisals. If there were X projects selected for DEV and Y workgroups selected for SVC, then in the multi-model appraisal, the number of instances would be X+Y. Sampling will be done as if they were different appraisals.

Overall Effort. This is one area where there is a lot of misunderstanding. Note that the sample size remains the same (multi or otherwise). Hence, the effort for artefact collection remains similar, the effort for artefact review by the appraisal team is also similar and so is the effort for interviews and discussions. There could be some (a tiny bit) effort reduction in a multi-model appraisal due to the following:

  • Single batch ATM training (instead of possible two batches). However, one batch of ATM training can have a max of 12 participants, so with backup ATMs you may have to run two batches anyways, even for a multi-model appraisal.
  • Sponsor meeting (assuming the same sponsor for both the appraisals)
  • Opening meeting can be a single one instead of two
  • Some economies of scale (not a lot) on artefact collection, artefact review, interviews and preliminary findings for “Oh” areas – organizational PAs like OPD, OPF, etc. However, organizational PAs will have to be investigated from both (DEV and SVC) the contexts explicitly. So the saving would be more in terms of being familiar with the terminology, document architecture and names/ faces of people running the “Oh” processes, assuming that the people are the same in the DEV and SVC contexts.
  • General effort saved for the LA and ATMs due to familiarity with the layout of the office, the security procedure, the parking lot, the cafeteria food, the washrooms, the office furniture, the room freshener, the air-conditioning, etc. (this factor may be invalid, if the appraisal team has to constantly move across buildings and cities anyway).

The project-level (or work-group level) process areas will have to be investigated for each instance separately (either in the DEV or the SVC context). Since the sample size is going to be determined the same way (whether it is a two separate appraisals or a multi-model one), the effort to investigate instance level data is going to be same. This includes the effort for the preliminary findings (or equivalent).

With the above micro-savings, the overall appraisal effort savings (LA + ATMs) is likely to be in the range of 15%-20% (i.e., the total effort for a multi-model appraisal is likely to be around 15-20% less than the total effort for separate appraisals).

Calendar Time. With the large one-time effort for the multi-model appraisal, the calendar time for the onsite period is also likely to be higher (than that of a single model appraisal), because there is a limit to the number of ATMs that an LA can handle. Hence the ATMs will need to be out of their day-job for a longer period. The long drawn absence of the ATMs from their day job can be disruptive. A reported multi-model appraisal done had an onsite period of close to the upper limit of 90 days (see here).

ATM / LA Fatigue. This is where the multi-model (for high maturity, large organizational scope) becomes untenable. As the on-site period start crossing three weeks, the fatigue becomes obvious. In organizations that use standard processes, and have done this over many years, one can expect the documents to be similar. The responses during the interview sessions will also be similar.

For the ATMs, after the glamour of being ATMs, the novelty of PIIDs and Process Area Worksheets, and the thrill of FI-LI-PI-NI-(and NY, of course) wears out, it is an extremely boring, mind-numbing and dull exercise.

(Digression: This may be one of the reasons that LAs have become good storytellers and general entertainers. I know of a LA who sings to keep the ATMs entertained, another one tells jokes on a non-stop basis. Some LAs have started blogging. SEI may have to initiate a study to understand whether LAs have a higher tendency to ….whatever 🙂 End of Digression).

After around three weeks, the productivity, alertness, and eye for detail falls down steeply for the ATMs as well as the LA. The other issue is the stress on the ATMs of maintaining confidentiality. They cannot talk to their friends and colleagues, or smile at passing acquaintances, because they may be asked that dreaded question “and how are we today?” Those who have been ATMs know about this, others readers may ask their friends/ colleagues who have been ATMs to confirm this :-).

Target Levels/ Results. For the purpose of the results (ML/ CL), the multi-model appraisal will deliver two results, two different sets of ratings. Your target rating could be different for the two models and the appraisal result rating will also be different for the two models. This is the same as doing two separate appraisals.

Novelty / Publicity Value. “Will we be the first to do a multi-model appraisal?”; “No?”; “Okay, can we be the first do to it in this country?”, “How about this city?” and so on….

Well, if your organization is looking to announce itself as the first in something, we can surely work out some combination of conditions that you will be the first in. Not just the first, but maybe the only one. Ever.

===========================================================================

Having said all that, are there any conditions where it may be worth considering a multi-model appraisal? Yes, if you have the following it may definitely be worth considering:

  • Low number of Process Areas (ML2 kind of stuff) in both the models, and
  • Small organization (number of sampled instances are likely to be low)

Under these circumstances, the number of ATMs for each separate appraisal would be low (say 4-5), so one can increase the ATM team size to 8-10 and run the multi-model appraisal in the same number of days as a single separate one. So the organizational disruption time and LA cost can be much lower.  Also, ATM training can also be done in a single batch (max batch size is 12).

Finally, the issue is a complex one, and let us conclude by saying once again that “it depends” and that you should consult multiple LAs and take their opinions before coming to any firm conclusion.

Also refer to:

Thanks a lot to D Sankararaman, Mukul Madan, V Seshadri, Channaveer Patil, and Dan He.

Please feel feel to share your views, experiences or queries, using the “comments” feature available at the top of this article/ post.

Notes:

Nothing Official About It! – The views presented above are in no manner reflective of the official views of any organization, community, group, or association.

SM-SCAMPI and SEPG are service marks of Carnegie Mellon University.
LA- is a short form of SCAMPISM Lead Appraiser. (It is not a term of endearment like “da”, “pa”, “ma”, or “po” used in different parts of the world :-)).
ATM – Appraisal Team Member (not an Automated Teller Machine :-))

You may also be interested in the following posts 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.

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® -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.

What to Expect in the new version of CMMI® for DEV Version 1.3

The first day (17th August 2010)  of SEPG Asia-Pacific 2010 conference covered the changes expected to the CMMI® models, as a part of  release of V1.3. The tutorial was conducted by Mike Phillips of the SEI and was attended by a large group of professionals (mostly from the IT industry).

Here are the key points that I have gathered and my reactions to some of the changes in the DEV model. The detailed presentation can be downloaded from here [Thanks Mike :-)]

A summary of the changes are available in a presentation titled CMMI v1.3 – What’s New on slideshare.

Changes to the Generic Goals and Generic Practices (DEV Model)

1)    Generic goals 4 and 5 have been removed from the models. So, generic goals stop at GG3 for all process areas. [Reaction: Good. The material in GG4 and GG5 was very scanty, and could not be used to implement CL4 and 5 practices]

2)    No significant changes in the intent of generic practices, other than a few changes in the verbiage for a few generic practices (GP 2.6, 2.9 and 3.2) [Reaction: It would have been nice if some generic practices were merged, for example GP2.8 and GP2.10, to reduce the number of generic practices. Maybe in version 1.4 or later :-)]

3)    In the model book (or technical report), the generic goals and generic practices are described just once at the start of the document and are not repeated for each process area  [Reaction: Slimmer book to carry, less trees to be chopped, nice touch]

Changes to the Maturity Level 2 Process Areas (DEV Model)

1)         Requirements Management (REQM) has been shifted to the Project Management category of PAs [Reaction: Makes no difference, except that there are no engineering PAs at maturity level 2. Imagine a maturity level 2 development company saying “we have great management and support practices, but our engineering practices may not be….”]

2)         Supplier Agreement Management (SAM) has been simplified. Two contentious practices of SG2 (erstwhile SP2.2 &amp; 2.3), have been converted to sub-practices of other specific practices [Reaction: These two practices were often a source of grief to many organizations in their appraisal. Fantastic!]

Changes to the Maturity Level 3 Process Areas (DEV Model)

1)         The optional IIPD addition (one goal in OPD and one goal in IPM) has now been converted into specific practices in OPD and IPM (one additional practice each) [Reaction: This is pity, because IPPD has a great value. I would have liked to see more emphasis on IPPD with greater clarity, instead of IPPD becoming 2 practices in the whole of CMMI®]

2)         No other changes, other than changes in the language to bring in more clarity.

Changes to High Maturity Process Areas (DEV Model)

1)         OID has been renamed as Organizational Performance Management (OPM). A new goal has been added to align process improvements to business objectives and process performance data. [Reaction: Was always required. Though the change looks big, most high maturity organizations would already be implementing the requirement of this new goal. However, the new name “Organizational Performance Management” is an overkill and misleading]

2)         Quantitative Project Management (QPM) has been made tighter and the requirements are more explicit. No significant change in the intent of the process area.

3)         Causal Analysis and Resolution (CAR) and Organizational Process Performance (OPP) have undergone some changes in the verbiage, though nothing significant in intent.

Version 1.3 of DEV (along with SVC and ACQ) will be released in November 2010.

SCAMPISM-A appraisals using version 1.2 of the model can be conducted for period of 12 months after the release of version 1.3. Organizations aiming for an appraisal in the later part of 2011 should consider switching to version 1.3 right away.

The SCAMPI-A methodology is also undergoing an upgrade. The SCAMPISM methodology upgrade will be released slightly later. So, organizations could use the current SCAMPISM-A version 1.2 to appraise organizations for CMMI® version 1.3 for some time.

Will try and post about SVC and the expected changes to the appraisal methodology sometime soon.

Also see: CMMI® version 1.3 Released


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.