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What is TMMI (Test Maturity Model Integration) in Software Testing?

Process

Friday October 4, 2019

Methodologies of software development are constantly evolving to provide better products and make the complete process easier and more efficient. Testing is one of the most important phases of the software development life cycle. And efficient testing life cycle is very important for the complete project. TMMi or Test Maturity Model Integration is one such process that has made software testing life cycle more efficient.

What is Test Maturity Model Integration?

TMMi or Test Maturity Model Integration improves the software testing practices for the organizations and also alleviates the IT standards for it. TMMi is gradually finding its way in many IT organizations to streamline and ease their testing process.

 Background and History of TMMi

TMM was curated by Illinois Institute of Technology whereas TMMi was curated by TMMi foundation. The intent behind it was to develop guidelines and reference framework for improving the testing process.

Difference between CMMI and TMMI

With the growing demand for the efficient software development process, CMMi/ Capability Maturity Model Integration have considerably regulated the software development practices and have helped IT organizations attain higher quality and productivity. CMMi is now considered a must-have industry standard for matured IT industries.

CMMi mainly focuses on software development practices, giving no or very less attention on the testing processes which involves 30% to 40% of complete project efforts. Hence TMMi was introduced by TMMi foundation to focus on testing processes.

TMMi framework focuses completely on the processes and practices that are applied to software testing with intent to raise the quality and efficiency of the testing process. It is used as a complementary framework along with CMMi or can be used as a standalone process for testing.

Why we need TMMi?

TMMi is gradually finding its way in the testing process in various software organizations. But why do we need the TMMi model is a big question. Here are some points to convince you about the need of TMMi.

  • Though many attempts were made to enhance the testing process, still zero defects is far from reality for the software industry. Hence TMMi is another attempt to achieve zero defects.
  • Various software process improvements like CMM/CMMI give restricted attention to testing, so there was a need for a process that is specially made for testing.
  • TMMi is a test process improvement model and can integrate with other Process improvement model can even be used as a standalone Model.
  • TMMI helps in evaluation and improvement of the testing process.
  • TMMi enhances test process and improves software quality, the productivity of test engineering, and cycle-time work.

What are the different TMMI Levels?

tmmi levels

The TMMi model is based on different maturity levels with organizations starting at TMMi level 1. As the organization rises in its testing practices, it moves higher in the maturity levels ladder.

TMMi makes a shift in the testing process of an organization from unmanaged and ad hoc, to one that is managed, defined, in optimization mode and measured. As an organization moves from one level to another it ensures a sufficient enhancement in its testing process as required by TMMi. It also enhances the ability of test teams to align with the business/project needs. It results in a high-quality software product with a lower defect rate.

The various maturity levels are:

Level 1 – Initial

TMMi identifies level 1 organizations as disordered with the indefinite test process. These organizations generally consider testing as a part of debugging. These organizations are characterized by the following traits:

  • Over commitment,
  • Leaving of progressions in crunch times
  • Incapability to recap the successes with no strategic processes being used
  • Are highly endorsed for the improvement to the next level.

Level 2 – Managed

At TMMi maturity level 2 the organizations have a fundamental test approach. These organizations focus on test strategy and policy. These organizations are more established and managed. Some of the common test practices organizations follow at this level are:

  • Planning, monitoring and control over test activities.
  • Defined test design techniques
  • Control over test execution.
  • Properly defined test environment.

Level 3 – Defined

At Level 3 the organizations follow the same standards and procedures throughout the organization. These organizations are identified by the following traits

  • More organized
  • Existence of test training programs
  • Non-functional testing is strategic and performed in all projects
  • Testing is combined into all projects from early phases of development.
  • Reviews play an important role.

Level 4 – Measured

At this level of TMMi testing activities are started at the early phases of the development and their outcomes are thoroughly applied to ensure that the project is as defect-free as possible at every stage of development. Advanced reviews are well supported at this level.

Level 5 – Optimization

At this, TMMi level organization has attained well-structured and organized testing practices and now all activities and outcomes are measured. The activities in this phase are well defined and measured to achieve continuous enhancement and to avoid defects and augment quality.

TMMi focuses on the testing processes and their maturity. Let us have a look at its effects:

TMMi is a set of standards that IT organizations adopt to enhance their testing process and standards. It is considered as a gratis practice to CMMi. TMMi sets maturity levels and standards which also help enhance the maturity levels in SEI CMMi level.

Let us look at the steps through which TMMi helps IT organizations enhance their testing processes.

1) Identify existing testing maturity level:

Knowing the current maturity level of the organization is very important and the first step towards TMMi. TMMi helps IT organizations evaluate their current maturity level. It also evaluate if the current testing processes are reactive or proactive. It calculates the current maturity level of the organization and the efforts required to move to the next maturity level.

2) Set a Target:

After all, evaluation is done next is the time to set the target and the milestones to achieve the next maturity level. After setting the targets the organization have to work upon achieving them and reaching to wanted maturity level.

3) Steps by step structuring:

When the organization figures out the gap between the current and desired maturity level, it prepares a step by step break of the structure to attain its end goal. Doing things step by step helps in achieving the goals easily and hence organisations break their complete efforts into steps.

4) Review, feedback, solution, and repeat:

Organizations at any maturity level on TMMi require continuous review, feedback, solution, and repeat. It helps in improving the testing process and hence helping the organization reach the top maturity. It also helps in reviewing and refining industry standards and processes.

Implementation of TMMi without a doubt helps IT organizations to enhance their Testing practices and brings many benefits to the organization. With the improving TMMi maturity levels, IT organizations also benefit by improving maturity levels of the SDLC, particularly the planning and development phases. TMMi helps in the enhancement of overall project efficiency. It is beneficial for all investors, clients, compliance, and employees.

Benefits of TMMi

TMMi is used by IT companies to enhance their test processes. Implementing TMMi guidelines has many benefits and advantages for organizations. Some of them are:

  • Reduced risks
  • Reduced cost and time
  • Improved software quality
  • Software as per the needs of the business.
  • Effective and measurable tools for test improvements
  • Provides accreditation
  • Enables worldwide assessment
  • Enhanced performance
  • Detect and prioritise cost-effective enhancements
  • detect errors in the production phase
  • A better understanding of overheads related to testing4
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Flexible delivery model

Many organizations and projects have implemented TMMi to enhance their testing capabilities. Some of the examples are

  • In a government organization, 40% of savings were made after inducing changes to move to TMMi Level 3.
  • A bank avoided 8% of their whole IT budget after implementing TMMi.
  • Retailer organizations can save 12% on every project after implementing TMMi guidelines.
  • An insurance company saved £440,000 on a £2m project
  • A test service organization had an increase of 8% in their test efficiency
  • Another company increased its defect detection rate from 78% to 96%.

What are the types of TMMi models?

tmmi model

  • Staged Representation: It recommends the stages that an IT organization must follow in an orderly way to enhance its testing process.
  • Continuous Representation: There are no fixed stages in continuous representation. An IT organization implementing continuous representation can choose enhancement areas from various sorts.

Can we assess our maturity on our own?

“YES” we can access our maturity level on our own. It draws a clear line between recommended goals and the implemented practices.

– The organization must feel ownership.

– Support for Senior Management.

– A TMMI Framework to refer.

– A technically competent Team.

What are the Assessment Components?

  • Required Components: are the components that an organization has to implement to achieve a process area.
  • Expected Components: are the components that are implemented to achieve a required component.
  • Informative Components: are the components that give them information that helps processes to achieve required and expected components.

Conclusion:

TMMi was developed by Illinois Institute of Technology. It was guided by CMMi methods. TMMi was developed to ensure improvements in testing processes in an IT organization. This was done as existing models did not focus on testing processes and these models mainly focused on planning and development.

It was developed as a stage model but can be used as a continuous model. The evaluation of processes shows immense growth and efficiency in not only testing but overall processes of the organization.

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