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What do CMM and PCMM mean?

CMM stands for Capability maturity Model. It is a method for developing and refining an organization’s process. The model has five maturity levels. Organizations typically evolve from a lower to a higher maturity level. It was originally developed by the United States Air force to rate software subcontractors on an objective basis. It is presently promoted by SEI(Software Engineering Institute). SEI is an R&D center under the sponsorship of the United States, Department of Defense.

As mentioned earlier, the CMM has five process maturity levels. These are

1. Initial (chaotic, ad hoc, heroic). This environment is not stable and the success depends largely on the individual competencies of the people. Exceeding budgets and schedules is not uncommon.

2. Repeatable (project management, process discipline) The processes are repeatable. Project management is at its elementary degree.

3. Defined (institutionalized) consistency is established using standard business processes.

4. Managed (quantified). The management can effectively control the development effort.

5. Optimizing (process improvement). Here the thrust is on optimizing process performance with technological innovation.

Structure of CMM

Maturity Levels
These are a systematic and framework with distinct layers that provide guide to continual improvement.

Key Process Areas
The KPAs identify a set of related activities that help a specific goal.

The Goals of the KPAs define the target state for any specific process.

Common Features
These are the procedures that help standardize a key process area The common features are Commitment to Perform, Ability to Perform, Activities Performed, Measurement, and Verification of Implementation.

Key Practices
The description of the infrastructure and processes that are associated with the implementation of the key process areas is made here.
The CMM assessment is always done by a lead assessor. Organizations have to first asses their level and devise a strategy to get to the next level.

PCMM stands for People Capability Maturity Model. PCMM is an adaptation of concepts found in CMM to enable the continuous development of human resources in an organization. Released in 1995, it is concerned with describing a transition from adhoc, inconsistent processes to a systematic, disciplined and continuous enhancement of knowledge and skill among the workforce in concert with the overall and long term strategy of the organization.

Besides, it also focuses on the retention of human assets within the organization. The PCMM can be paired with CMM or used independently to effectively add value to the human resources in an organization.

The PCMM provides guidance to organizations in planning immediate improvement initiatives and assist companies in
- Evaluating the maturity of their workforce practices 
- Set target for instant action 
- Link manpower development and process development 
- To become an employer of choice

Need for PCMM
There are three components in any organizations are people, process and technology and all these are interrelated. CMM helps organizations to build optimal and standardized processes. However, it was felt that lasting improvement in performance could not be achieved without involving the workforce. PCMM is made after the maturity framework CMM.

PCMM can be implemented in a company in two ways 
- As a benchmark against which the present practices of the workforce are measured. 
- As a template in designing and applying activities aimed at improvement.

Benefits of PCMM
PCMM enables organizations to improve the skills and competencies of the manpower. Since, like CMM, it contains distinct levels like CMM from the Initial to the Optimizing level. This helps the organization to assess its present level and make measurable and concrete steps to advance the levels.

The PCMM acts as a guide in applying practices in an improvement program within the organization. The PCMM provides guidance at two levels viz. at a strategic level for building the organization and guidance on practices which can be used by the organizations

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