Monday, April 09, 2007

Personality CMM

For anyone associated with Software Engineering, the three letters CMM either evoke knowing smiles or unknowing deference, depending on whether the person has gone through a CMM review or not. Well, that was the Software CMM. On similar lines, we have the People-CMM and now, CMMi - Integration CMM for system companies that do both hardware and software.

Needless to say, these CMM models have kept many consultants in business, provided opportunities to many researchers to add to their list of papers, and has in fact, created a new haves/have-nots situation w.r.t software companies.

All the models have the same five levels: Initial, Repeatable, Defined, Managed and Optimizing (wiki here). Each level has a list of processes (KPAs) that must be in place for an organization to attain that level. I won't go into the details here, except state the obvious - the latter levels are 'better', and the higher the level an organization achieves, the more mature it is supposed to be.

This got me thinking - aren't people the same? There are people who defy age - they are 3-year olds as long as they live. And there are some who keep improving even when they are in their 90s. Not very different from the CMMs. Therefore, I present to you, my contribution to the CMM stable: The Personality CMM

I'll describe the Pr-CMM in greater detail in the coming posts. For now, here is a broad definition of the five levels:

- Initial: These people think that the world revolves around them. Needless to say, they are most immature. You cannot trust them, you cannot believe what they say, and in short, they are best avoided.
- Repeatable: These are people you can trust. But they come in with fixed personalities that don't ever change, not for the better, and thankfully, not for the worse under normal circumstances. But put them under stress, and they revert to the first level faster than a snake's strike.
- Defined: These people are those you can trust, and in addition, they have some goals, some principles and values in life. They listen to others, get feedback, but may not necessarily incorporate feedback that they don't like.
- Managed: These people believe in measurement. Along with all the good qualities of level 3, these people measure their lives, keep tabs on how they are progressing, and generally are extremely likeable people.
- Optimizing: These guys follow all processes of level 4, and in addition, strive for continuous improvement.

So, which level is your personality in?

Postscript: No, I am not serious. I agree that the human personality is too diverse to fit nicely into a set of five buckets. Still, considering the pace at which the CMM craze is picking up, particularly in Indian software service companies, I just _had_ to pen this.


Srikanth said...

I can see lot of people fitting into the first and thrid category.

<>So, which level is your personality in?<>

I guess it would be more fun, if your friends rate you based on this :)

Gops said...

That is precisely the thing I was dreading :)

But yeah, lots of 1, 2, 3 level people.

kattricker said...

good blog gops, knew we could expect innovations like this from u. i was gonna rate u as initial until i saw ur PS! ;)

sandeep said...

nice way to bring out the manager in you ;)