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People Capability Maturity Model
People - CMM (P-CMM)

The People Capability Maturity Model (People CMM, PCMM) is part of the CMMI product family of process maturity models. It is a framework to guide organizations in improving their processes for managing and developing human workforces. It helps organizations to characterize the maturity of their workforce practices, establish a program of continuous workforce development, set priorities for improvement actions, integrate workforce development with Process Improvement, and establish a culture of excellence. PCMM is based on proven practices in fields of human resources, knowledge management, and organizational development.


Objectives of PCMM:

Improve the ability of the organizations to attract, develop, motivate, organize and retain talent


  • Focus on Employee development
  • Ensure alignment between the individuals’ personal aspirations and organizational objectives
  • Clarity on career progression and growth
  • Employee participation & empowerment
  • Instill the best HR practices and procedures
  • Transparency in practices Process area: Set of practices which when performed helps you to meet a particular goal.

PCMM Maturity Framework Levels:

Managed Level: Level II

Organization at the initial level of maturity usually has difficulty retaining talented individuals. Even though many low maturity organizations complain about a talent shortage, the inconsistency of their actions belies whether they actually believe it. Low maturity organizations are poorly equipped to response to talent shortages with anything other than slogans and exhortations. Despite the importance of talent, workforce practices in low maturity organizations are often ad hoc and inconsistent. In some areas, the organization has not trained responsible individuals to perform the practices that exist. The organization may typically provide forms for guiding workforce activities such as performance appraisals or position requisitions. Consequently, managers are left to their own devices in most areas of workforce management.


Initial Level: Level I

The workforce practices implemented at the Managed Level focus on activities at unit level. The first step toward improving the capability of the workforce is to get managers to take workforce activities as high priority responsibilities of their job. They must accept personal responsibility for the performance and development of those who perform the unit’s work. The practices implemented at maturity Level 2 focus a manager’s attention on unit level issues such as staffing, coordinating commitment, providing resources, managing performance, developing skills, and making compensation decisions. Building a solid foundation of workforce practices within each unit provides the bedrock on which more sophisticated workforce practices can be implemented at higher levels of maturity.


One of the benefits organizations experience when they implemented guided by the People-CMM is a reduction in voluntary turnover. At Maturity level 2, the People-CMM addresses one of the most frequent causes of turnover, poor relations with their boss. When people begin to see a more rational work environment emerge in their unit, their motivation to stay with the organization is enhanced. As their development needs are addressed, they begin to see the organization as a vehicle through which they can achieve their career objectives.


Defined level: Level III

At the defined level, the organizations adapts its workforce practices to its business needs by focusing them on motivation and enabling development in its workforce competencies. Once workforce competencies are defined, training and development practices can be more systematically focused on developing the knowledge, skills and process abilities that compose them. Further, the existing experience in the workforce can be organized to accelerate the development of workforce competencies in those with less skill and experience. Graduate career opportunities are defined around increasing levels of capability in workforce competencies. The graduate career opportunities motivate and guide individual development. The organization’s staffing, performance management, compensation, and other workforce practices are adapted to motivate and support development in workforce competencies.


Predictable Level: Level IV

At the Predictable level, the organization manages and exploits the capability created by its framework of workforce competencies. The organization is now able to manage its capability and performance quantitatively. The organization is able to predict its capability for performing work because it can quantify the capability its workforce and of the competency-base processes they use in performing their assignment.


Optimizing Level: Level V

At the optimizing level, the entire organization is focused on continual improvement. These improvements are made to the capability of individuals and workgroups, to the performance of competency-based process, and to workforce practice and activities. The organization uses the results of the quantitative management activities established at maturity Level 4 to guide improvements at maturity Level 5. Maturity Level 5 organizations treat change management as an ordinary business process to be performed in an ordinary business to be process to be performed in an orderly way on a regular basis.


One of the important features of the People-CMM is that it encourages and makes it compulsory to have a measures and metrication program. These help in providing the status and effectiveness of the people processes in the organization. The measurements quantitatively demonstrate the HR Health of the organization. Verification process like audits and mini assessment support all the measures. It also introduces a culture difference from the management perspective as data collection from employee interview is in a fledgling state and requires high degree of openness from people and management point of view to respect the view of each other.


PCMM maturity framework which consists of the following stages.

Maturity Level 2 Process Areas:
  • Compensation
  • Training & Development
  • Performance Management
  • Work Environment
  • Communication & Coordination
  • Staffing



Maturity Level 3 Process Areas
  • Participatory Culture
  • Workgroup Development
  • Competency Based Practices
  • Career Development
  • Competency Development
  • Workforce Planning
  • Competency Analysis

Maturity Level 4 Process Areas
  • Mentoring
  • Organizational Capability Management
  • Competency Based Assets
  • Empowered Workgroups
  • Competency Integration
  • Quantitative Performance Management

Maturity Level 5 Process Areas
  • Continuous Workforce Innovation
  • Organizational Performance Alignment
  • Continuous Capability Improvement





The People Challenges

Organizations are now competing in two markets, one for their products and services and one for the talent required to produce or perform them. At the very time that business markets are expanding, talent markets seem to be shrinking. As the knowledge required to build products and deliver services increases, the retention of experienced employees becomes critical to improving productivity and time to market.


As agility in responding to continual change in technological and business conditions has become critical to success, organizations must strive to create learning environments capable of rapidly adjusting to the changes engulfing them. A critical component of agility is a workforce with the knowledge and skills to make rapid adjustments and the willingness to acquire new competencies. In fact, an agile workforce may reduce some of the stress currently being experienced as a talent shortage. Organizations have attempted to apply many different techniques in their efforts to move towards strategic human capital management. What many organizations lack is a framework for implementing these advanced practices?


How and Why PCMM can help?

People Capability Maturity Model is a tool that helps you successfully address the critical people issues in your organization. Based on the best current practices in fields such as human resources, knowledge management, and organizational development, the PCMM guides organizations in improving their processes for managing and developing their workforce.


PCMM helps organizations characterize the maturity of their workforce practices, establish a program of continuous workforce development, set priorities for improvement actions, integrate workforce development with process improvement, and establish a culture of excellence.


PCMM consists of five maturity levels that establish successive foundations for continuously improving individual competencies, developing effective teams, motivating improved performance, and shaping the workforce the organization needs to accomplish its future business plans.


Each maturity level is a well-defined evolutionary plateau that institutionalizes new capabilities for developing the organization's workforce. By following the maturity framework, an organization can avoid introducing workforce practices that its employees are unprepared to implement effectively.