Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University

Prerequisites for Intermediate Concepts of People CMM

 Prerequisites for Participation in the Intermediate Concepts of People CMM Course

Before taking this course, participants must

  1. Complete the SEI authorized offering of the Introduction to People CMM course.
  2. Obtain experience using the model before applying for the Intermediate class (e.g., serving on a Human Capital Team, Human Resources or Management team, People Process Group, mapping People CMM to the organization's processes, serving as a member of an appraisal team, etc.).
  3. Carefully study the full content of People CMM model, Version 2.0 or the People CMM book, by Curtis, et. al., published by Addison Wesley.
  4. Carefully study chapters 1-6 of the People CMM model, Version 2.0, or the People CMM book. You must understand the concepts before coming to the class.
  5. Complete and submit an assigned exercise before attending the course, according to instructions that will be supplied. This exercise will require 4-6 hours for most participants.

    Note: It is very important that the participant be capable of communicating well in English.


Course Format

The Intermediate People CMM course is a required training component for the SCAMPI Lead Appraiser for People CMM and Introduction to People CMM Instructor authorizations. These authorization programs are still under development and will require candidacy sponsorship and authorization under an SEI Partner agreement. These professional SEI authorizations require an in-depth understanding of the People CMM model. The associated courses, including the Intermediate Concepts of People CMM course, consequently are much more demanding than most adult learning experiences. Each participant is required to demonstrate adequate model knowledge and ability to explain People CMM-related concepts, by preparing (this is the assigned exercise), submitting, and delivering a presentation on an assigned process area (PA), and by passing an end-of-course examination. Because each participant prepares a presentation on one process area, much of the course content is taught by the participants.

Completion Requirements

Participants are evaluated by the course instructors in three areas:

  • Class participation: Participants attend the entire course and contribute appropriately to class discussions.
  • Ability to explain People CMM concepts: This ability is principally determined from the participants’ presentation on their assigned PA, and secondarily through class participation.
  • Knowledge of the People CMM model: Model knowledge is determined through the two previous items and through the exit test administered on the last day of the course. Participants who score 80% or higher on the test- and perform satisfactorily in the participation and ability areas- receive course completion credit. Those who score below 70%, and those who do not successfully complete possible remedial assignments, will be required to attend the course again as paying participants and meet the completion requirements specified above.

Because of the amount of preparation and model understanding required to be successful in this course, a minimum 90-day period is expected between completing the Introduction to People CMM Course and the start of the Intermediate Concepts of People CMM Course. During this period the participant is expected to have completed all the prerequisites identified above.

It is important that course participants conduct an in-depth study of Chapters 1-6 of the book or of the People CMM model, Version 2.0 prior to the start of the course. These chapters cover essentials of model structure, terminology, and institutionalization goal and practice content. In addition, these chapters provide essential information regarding maturity levels and model themes. A thorough study of the process area descriptions is also essential.

By the end of the course, participants should be able to do the following, based upon the course experience and their individual study of the People CMM models: (References are to chapters in the People CMM Model and People CMM Book)

  • Identify the process area thread and maturity level within which each process area resides (Chapter 3).
  • List the institutionalization categories associated with institutionalization goals (Chapter 5).
  • State the requirements for achieving maturity levels (Chapter 2).
  • List key relationships between process areas and links between process areas and business/human resources practices (Chapters 1 & 6).
  • Understand each process area including supplementary information, down to and including examples (Part 2).
  • Define and differentiate between terms that have special or specific meaning in the People CMM, as found in the glossary or found in supplementary material within the process area descriptions (Chapter 5).
  • Define and/or state the purpose of each model component (Chapter 4).

Please note that course participants who have not prepared adequately prior to attending the Intermediate Concepts of People CMM course often have to invest long hours of evening study during the course to achieve adequate model knowledge. This is very difficult to do after a very full day of instruction.

Expectations for Successful Completion of the Intermediate Concepts of People CMM Course

The Course Participant will satisfactorily

  • Understand the People CMM model, address all prerequisites, and have experience working with the model prior to attending the course.
  • Participate in class discussions and exercises and earn a minimum grade of Good. (Approximately 1/3 of completion grade.)
  • Present pre-class assignment to the class, as a professional demonstration of your model application knowledge, and earn a minimum grade of Good. (Approximately 1/3 of completion grade.)
  • Complete a closed-book People CMM model knowledge examination with a minimum grade of Good. (Approximately 1/3 of completion grade.)
  • Attend the entire class.
  • Following the course, and when appropriate, successfully complete any assigned remedial activity and submit to the instructors by the indicated completion date.

How Instructors Will Rate Course Participants

Successful completion of the Intermediate Concepts of People CMM course requires that the course participant demonstrate an acceptable working knowledge of People CMM in activities 2-4 described on the previous page.

Activities 2-4 will be rated according to the scale indicated below.

Rating Scale Key

E=Excellent Participant almost always exhibits expected knowledge and adequate performance in the activity; performs activity in a way that is frequently above and beyond expectations.

G=Good Participant often exhibits expected knowledge and adequate performance in the activity; falling short of expectations infrequently. This rating is the usual rating given to those generally meeting our knowledge and performance expectations.

F=Fair Participant sometimes exhibits expected knowledge and adequate performance, but fails to do so frequently, in the activity.

P=Poor Participant very frequently fails to exhibit expected knowledge and adequate performance in the activity.

We expect that most course participants will be given Good (G) ratings for most activities.

Our guidelines for grading the closed book examination:

  •  90% and above = Excellent.
  • 80% and above = Good.
  • 70-79% = Fair. Possible remediation at the discretion of the instructors; certificate awarded upon successful completion of assigned remedial activity.
  • Below 70% = Poor. No option for remediation; certificate not awarded.

Participants that are still new to the People CMM model may demonstrate a few weaknesses in their knowledge of People CMM model and thus also in their performance of the described activities. Thus there will normally be only a few Excellent (E) ratings for course participants per activity.

Notification of ratings: participants will normally be notified of the ratings following the course.

Participants who receive a composite rating of G (or better) for the previously-described course activities will be sent a certificate of completion via surface mail.

Participants who receive one or more Fair (F) ratings will not be assigned a composite rating of G. Such participants do not pass the Intermediate Concepts of the People CMM course without completing a remedial activity. The course instructors will come to an agreement about specific remediation that the participant will be required to satisfactorily complete prior to awarding them a certificate of completion. Such remedial work will typically address the areas where the participant failed to demonstrate the expected knowledge or adequate performance in one or more activities. The participant will be given a date by which this remedial activity will need to be completed.

Participants who receive one or more Poor (P) ratings do not pass the Intermediate Concepts of People CMM course and must successfully retake the class at their own expense.