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The Athlete Capability Maturity Model (ACMM)

What is it?

The Athlete Capability Maturity Model (ACMM) is a system developed to improve your management of athlete development to get full advantage from your coaching development efforts.

The ACMM is used to attract, train, deploy, and retain the athletes you need to develop a high performance competitive environment. With the help of the Capability Maturity Model Integrated (CMMI), any sport organization can make improvements in their development systems processes and practices. Many have discovered that their continued improvement requires significant changes in the way they manage all of the people involved in their organisation.

The ACMM is a maturity framework that describes the key elements of managing and developing the training groups of a sport organization. It describes an evolutionary improvement path from an ad hoc approach to managing the training groups, to a mature, disciplined development of the knowledge, skills, and motivation of the athletes, coaches and other staff that fuels enhanced performance.

What does it do?

The ACMM helps organizations to

  • characterize the maturity of their athlete and coach development practices
  • set priorities for improving the competence of its training groups
  • integrate competence growth with process improvement
  • establish a culture of performance excellence

The ACMM will support incorporating athlete management capabilities into improvement programs by communicating a model that complements the Capability Maturity Model Integrated (CMMI), and by making available an appraisal method that can be used alone or integrated with existing process appraisal methods.

The ACMM is designed to guide organizations in selecting activities for improving their development practices based on the current maturity of their development practices. By concentrating on a focused set of practices and working aggressively to install them, sport organizations can steadily improve their level of talent and make continuous and lasting gains in their performance. The ACMM guides an organization through a series of increasingly sophisticated practices and techniques for perfecting its overall development program. These practices have been chosen from experience as those that have significant impact on individual, team, and organizational performance.

How does it do this?

The Athlete Capability Maturity Model (ACMM) adapts the maturity framework of the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) [Paulk 95], for managing and developing a sport organization’s people. The motivation for the ACMM is to radically improve the ability of sport organizations to attract, develop, motivate, organize, and retain the talent needed to continuously improve athlete development capability. The ACMM is designed to allow sport organizations to integrate people improvement with sport process improvement programs guided by the CMM. The ACMM can also be used by any kind of organization as a guide for improving their people-related and work-force practices.

Based on the best current practices in the fields such as human resources and organizational development, the ACMM provides organizations with guidance on how to gain control of their processes for managing and developing their people. The ACMM helps organizations to:

  • characterize the maturity of their people management practices,
  • guide a program of continuous people development,
  • set priorities for immediate actions,
  • integrate people development with process improvement, and
  • establish a culture of sport excellence.

ACMM describes an evolutionary improvement path from ad hoc, inconsistently performed practices, to a mature, disciplined development of the knowledge, skills, and motivation of the athletes and coaches, just as the CMM describes an evolutionary improvement path for the processes within an organization.

What does it look like?

The ACMM consists of five maturity levels that lay successive foundations for continuously improving talent, developing effective teams, and successfully managing the athlete and coaching assets of the organization. Each maturity level is a well-defined evolutionary plateau that institutionalizes a level of capability for developing the talent within the organization.

Athlete CMM Levels

Except for Level 1, each maturity level is decomposed into several key process areas that indicate the areas an organization should focus on to improve its athlete and coaching capability. Each key process area is described in terms of the key practices that contribute to satisfying its goals. The key practices describe the infrastructure and activities that contribute most to the effective implementation and institutionalization of the key process area.

The five maturity levels of the ACMM are:

  1. Initial.
  2. Managed. The key process areas at Level 2 focus on instilling basic discipline into workforce activities. They are:
    • Training Environment
    • Communications
    • Staffing
    • Performance Management
    • Education
    • Compensation
  3. Defined. The key process areas at Level 3 address issues surrounding the identification of the organization’s primary competencies and aligning its people management activities with them. They are:
    • Knowledge and Skills Analysis
    • Athlete/Coach Development Planning
    • Competency Development
    • Career Development
    • Competency-Based Practices
    • Participatory Culture
  4. Predictable. The key process areas at Level 4 focus on quantitatively managing organizational growth in people management capabilities and in establishing competency-based teams. They are:
    • Mentoring
    • Team Building
    • Team-Based Practices
    • Organizational Competency Management
    • Organizational Development
    • Performance Alignment
  5. Optimizing. The key process areas at Level 5 cover the issues that address continuous improvement of methods for developing competency, at both the organizational and the individual level. They are:
    • Personal Competency Development
    • Coaching at every level
    • Continuous Athlete/Coach Innovation

Find Out More

The Athlete CMM program is designed for athlete training organisations that are serious about attaining and maintaining world standards for athlete development. For more on the program and how to adopt it for your organisation contact Gerry Dragomir through a comment on this blog.

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