People Capability Maturity Model (PCMM)

People Capability Maturity Model (PCMM) is a maturity framework that focuses on continuously improving the management and development of the human assets of a software or information systems organization. PCMM can be perceived as the application of the principles of Capability Maturity Model to human assets of a software organization. It describes an evolutionary improvement path from ad hoc, inconsistently performed practices, to a mature, disciplined, and continuously improving development of the knowledge, skills, and motivation of the workforce. Although the focus in People CMM is on software or information system organizations, the processes and practices are applicable for any organization that aims to improve the capability of its workforce. PCMM will be guiding and effective particularly for organizations whose core processes are knowledge intensive.

The primary objective of the People Capability Maturity Model is to improve the capability of the entire workforce. This can be defined as the level of knowledge, skills, and process abilities available for performing an organization’s current and future business activities.

People Capability Maturity Model (PCMM) Levels

The People Capability Maturity Model consists of five maturity levels. Each maturity level is an evolutionary plateau at which one or more domains of the organization’s processes are transformed to achieve a new level of organizational capability. The five levels of People CMM are defined as follows:

People Capability Maturity Model (PCMM)

People Capability Maturity Model (PCMM) Levels

  1. At PCMM Level 1, an organization has no consistent way of performing workforce practices. Most workforce practices are applied without analysis of impact.
  2. At PCMM Level 2, organizations establish a foundation on which they deploy common workforce practices across the organization. The goal of Level 2 is to have managers take responsibility for managing and developing their people. For example, the first benefit an organization experiences as it achieves Level 2 is a reduction in voluntary turnover. The turnover costs that are avoided by improved workforce retention more than pay for the improvement costs associated with achieving Level 2.
  3. At PCMM Level 3, the organization identifies and develops workforce competencies and aligns workforce and work group competencies with business strategies and objectives. For example, the workforce practices that were implemented at Level 2 are now standardized and adapted to encourage and reward growth in the organization’s workforce competencies.
  4. At PCMM Level 4, the organization empowers and integrates workforce competencies and manages performance quantitatively. For example, the organization is able to predict its capability for performing work because it can quantify the capability of its workforce and of the competency-based processes they use in performing their assignments.
  5. At PCMM Level 5, the organization continuously improves and aligns personal, work-group, and organizational capability. For example, at Maturity Level 5, organizations treat continuous improvement as an orderly business process to be performed in an orderly way on a regular basis.

The People Capability Maturity Model was designed initially for knowledge-intense organizations and workforce management processes. However, it can be applied in almost any organizational setting, either as a guide in implementing workforce improvement activities or as a vehicle for assessing workforce practices.

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