Looking at business results, how important do you consider your workforce? The knowledge and skills of your professionals, and their motivation and drive? My opinion is that it is of huge importance when you want to reach your business goals.
Several frameworks exist to help organisations to develop their workforce, like the People CMM (People-CMM) that I mentioned earlier and Investors in People (IiP). What still surprises me that these models with best practices are used by very few organisations, though many organizations state that people are their most important resource. So how do they developed and share their “People Management” practices?
The People-CMM supports the CMMI for Process Improvement
Looking at the People-CMM, the majority of organizations with higher maturity levels are in India. For the IiP they are mostly in the UK. Why aren’t these framework used more often in Europe and the USA? The models itself give no explanation for this.
The People-CMM is mostly known and used by the same professionals that use the CMMI. The Software Engineering Institute promotes the People-CMM as a model to be used complementary to the CMMI (see examples of the CMMI-SVC and P-CMM and of the CMMI-DEV and P-CMM). So people using the CMMI are mainly software development professionals, while the People-CMM is a management/HRM model which can be applied also in non-IT organizations. But many of those organizations never heard of the People-CMM.
Business benefits of developing your workforce
There is only limited information of companies that have used the People-CMM to develop their workforce, and most of that information is either confidential or there is insufficient detail in the publicly available information. That makes it very difficult to convince people that using the People-CMM can bring business benefits.
Also, there has been a shift in the business needs for developing the workforce. The first business cases that I saw for the People-CMM stressed the need to keep professionals, and keep them motivated. But since the economic crises, there are often other reasons to use the People-CMM, like improving the quality of product and customer service or become more efficient and shortening delivery times of new and improved products, i.e. by using agile development methods. Different goals to use the People CMM require different business cases; and since there are so few available, many organizations hesitate to deploy the model.
SPIder P-CMM Workgroup
I’m participating in the SPIder P-CMM workgroup, where my focus is on the benefits that the P-CMM can bring. Many of our working group meetings focused on getting a good understanding of the People CMM model, and discussing ways to deploy it. We learned a lot in the workgroup meeting, but it also became clear that the state of practice of the People CMM is still very premature. To state it otherwise, the maturity of using the P-CMM is very low, and there are very few people who are capable of deploying the model. There is a big need to share experiences of using the model (and any other People based practices/models), which we as a workgroup will continue to do in our regular meetings.
Share your experiences!
If you have used the People-CMM, then I would be very much interested in your experiences, and the benefits that is has brought your organization! Please react on this post, or send me links so that I can share them with my readers!
(This blog was posted sep 18, 2010, and updated aug 30, 2011: New information on CMMI and P-CMM).