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Life beyond SEI level 5 at Wipronews
13 July 1999
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Wipro Infotech division, which recently achieved the SEI-CMM level 5 (the Software Engineering Institute -- capability maturity model), the highest global certification for software quality, has now embarked on SEI's 'people capability maturity model', or

''People, process and technology are three important factors in
software development. On the process front we have reached the summit, with SEI-CMM level 5, and now are focusing on achieving P-CMM level 5,'' says V Chandrasekaran, president, enterprise solutions, Wipro Infotech.

The P-CMM model adapts the maturity framework of CMM, used for software, to manage and develop an organisation's workforce. Based on current practices in areas like human resources and organisational development, it provides organisations with guidelines for better control of their processes for managing and developing their workforce, Mr Chandrasekaran explains. The P-CMM model can be used by any organisation as a guide for improving its people-related and workforce practices.

Ranjan Acharya, corporate general manager, human resources, Wipro Ltd, says that P-CMM can be applied by an organisation as a standard for assessing workforce practices, and also as a guide for planning and implementing improvement activities. Like the CMM, P-CMM consists of five maturity levels: initial, repeatable, defined, managed, and optimising, which enable organisations to improve talent, develop effective teams and manage their people assets, he says.

One of the ways that Indian software companies can maintain an edge over rivals in other countries is to implement a process that creates project managers from the large pool of programmers, says Mr Acharya. In this context, he says Wipro has created an "accelerated learning programme". "This will considerably shorten the time taken to create project managers and will also help us ensure that organisational competency is achieved through individual competency as dictated by the P-CMM model,'' Mr Acharya adds.

According to Mr Chandrasekaran, in order to cope with the increased business, which means more projects, Wipro needs to create a ready supply of project managers (with leadership and team management qualities), from the large number of programmers recruited annually. ''It normally takes eight years
for a programmer to reach the project manager level. We cannot wait that long. Also, the attrition rate at the project manager level is high. In order to circumvent this problem we have devised our accelerated learning programme.''

This programme uses various methodologies and indigenously developed tool sets to put ''eight years of knowledge into a person in a time span of four to five years'', according to Mr Chandrasekaran. Role plays, case studies, and psycho profiling instruments are some of the methods used in this programme.

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Life beyond SEI level 5 at Wipro