Developing your workforce: What’s the benefit?

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).

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Ben Linders

I help organizations with effective software development and management practices. Active member of several networks on Agile, Lean and Quality, and a frequent speaker and writer.

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Philippe Fenot

    It’s nice to see an article about the P-CMM framework and the synergy between P-CMM and CMMI. Like you put it : “There is a big need to share experiences of using the model”.

  2. Gairik Ghosh

    I have been a staunch follower of PCMM having been a part of the core implementation team in several organizations. From my past experiences, I have clearly seen that PCMM strongly supplements other process models like CMMi & ISO.
    With the advent of ISO, COPC, CMM/CMMi and other Quality and Process improvement models, Organizations were faced with a unique challenge; All these Models focused on Improvement with respect to Operational Processes or Technology, but if we take a closer look at the operations of any Business Organization, the success of the Business depends on 3 factors :
    1. People
    2. Process
    3. Technology
    to deliver its Products and Services
    The Critical point to note above is People as both Process and Technology are essentially tools used and driven by People and unfortunately there was no specific model which focused on People Practices. And this is exactly where People CMM comes in to the equation with its focus on the People Practices.

    1. BenLinders

      Hi Garik,

      Fully agree that improvement is driven by peope, process and technology, in that order. Many improvement project however start with the process part, and do not involve people in the improvements. Organizations have to create the right conditions for their employees to enable and support improvement, and this is where the People-CMM helps!

      Many organisations in India have deployed the P-CMM (I think most P-CMM certified organisations are in India). Do you know of any experience reports that have been published?

      Best regards,
      Ben Linders

  3. Gairik Ghosh

    Hello Ben,
    There are a few organizations like CSC, TCS, Samsung SDC, Wipro who had shared their PCMM experience earlier, not very sure if those links are still there. QAI had also published their Convansys experience and benefits.


    1. BenLinders

      Hi Gairik,

      If you could find and share links to the P-CMM experience that you mention, that would be great!

      Best regards, Ben Linders

  4. Ben Linders

    Thanks Gairik!

    I like the 2nd link, the report from QAI which shows on pages 7 the benefits reached through using the People-CMM. Though not all benefits can be attributed solely to the People-CMM, it makes clear that using this model has helped them to do their business better!

    Best Regards,
    Ben Linders

  5. Myrabeckman

    I have the experience from combining P-CMM with processes in general that contribute to improvining business and it works well. You have to write  your own aspects. I found it a challenge to combine P-CMM with the process related maturity models as the models are so differently built.

    1. Ben Linders

      I fully agree that you can use the P-CMM with process improvement in general, it can but doesn’t have to be used with the CMMI.

      What do you mean with “challenge to combine with process related maturity models”? What was the challenge?

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