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Thursday, May 09, 2002

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Wipro: A model to emulate

Anjali Prayag

It's an 18-month effort that has culminated into reality. But the initiatives started almost 20 years ago, though it was by intuition then, says Mr Pratik Kumar, Vice-President, Talent Engagement and Development, Wipro Technologies of the company's talking of Wipro's achievement in people's processes and quality initiatives.

Wipro Technologies has been assessed at Level 5 of People Capability Maturity Model (PCMM) under the Software Engineering Institute Carnegie Melon University certification process and it's the first company in the world to win this certification.

The Quality Assurance Institute, an assessor accredited by SEI/TeraQuest, conducted the assessment for nine days covering all strategic business units and divisions of Wipro Technologies, Bangalore. The study encompassed over 6,000 employees.

In the 1990s, Wipro started the quality initiatives. Now it is the only organisation in the world to be assessed at Level 5 under both the SEI-CMM and PCMM processes. The PCMM Model is the only such framework currently in existence. It helps organisations to successfully address critical people process issues. Based on the current best practices in human resources, knowledge management and organisation development fields, the PCMM guides organisations in continuously improving their processes for more effective management and development of their work force.

The PCMM framework decisively helps organisations improve the maturity of their people practices, establishing a programme for continuous development and integration of talent development with process improvement and finally promoting a culture of excellence and innovation.

Mr Kumar explains that PCMM is a cross-functional endeavour. Wipro employees in finance, HR, technical departments have all got involved. The idea is to match organisational competencies with individual competencies. ''We have to have the vision to build individual competencies into the system. We have to realise who are our business drivers and what are our people processes are and we have to review it constantly.''

So, what are the gains of the certification? ''There has been a sense of extreme pride among employees. We have built a better career framework and e-enablement processes. From the industry perspective, we have managed to build trust among customers.''

How is Wipro spreading the quality message among all its employees? ''We have PCMM evangelists in the company to ensure that the framework of PCMM percolates into smaller businesses. These are PCMM blackbelts like our six sigma black belts,'' says Mr Kumar.

Mr Vivek Paul, Vice Chairman and CEO, Wipro Technologies, explains the impact of the commendation ''As people and quality processes touch everything we do, it gives our customers on time, on budget project deliveries regardless of size and complexity.''

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