A Five Stage Maturity Model

A Five Stage Maturity Model

One the central features of the TMMi is the five levels of maturity.  They are a shorthand way to describe organizational capability.  The five levels are:

  1. Initial – Level One, Initial, represents the starting point in the TMMi.  Organizations in the Initial state have not institutionalized the processes that are called for in the TMMi model.  To be ultra-precise, the organization would not be able to satisfy an appraisal for the process identified at Level Two (Managed). This level has no process areas.
  2. Managed – Maturity Level Two defines five specific processes areas that delineate testing from the development process of debugging.  Level Two creates a basic testing capability that includes the definition of testing, processes for planning, designing, executing and controlling  testing  in a defined of testing environment. These capabilities provide a backstop for organizations to hold onto during periods of project stress were it would be easy to revert to ad-hoc testing. The five process areas are:
    1. Test Policy and Strategy
    2. Test Planning
    3. Test Monitoring and Control
    4. Test Design and Execution
    5. Test Environment
  3. Defined – The third maturity level, Defined, includes the practices required to extend testing (or verification and validation) across the life cycle of development based on a common core of standards and processes.  This maturity level includes five process areas.  The five are
    1. Test Organization
    2. Test Training Program
    3. Test Life Cycle and Integration
    4. Non-functional Testing
    5. Peer Reviews
  4. Measured – Level Four of the TMMi focuses on gathering data and the measurement of the testing processes.  Measurement provides information needed to begin improving the testing process and product quality.  I strongly suggest waiting until Level Four to begin measuring. Measurement can provide many benefits even before it becomes a focus at Level Four but less effectively. The Measured process area includes three process areas. They are:
    1. Test Measurement
    2. Product Quality Evaluation
    3. Advanced Reviews
  5. Optimization – The ultimate level of the TMMi framework, Optimization, reflects an organizational state where quantitative process improvement is honed to maximize effectiveness and efficiency. At this level of process maturity statistical modeling and statistical process control are leveraged for raising the bar of quality and effectiveness. Maturity Level Five includes three process areas. They are:
    1. Defect Prevention
    2. Quality Control
    3. Test Process Optimization

The five maturity levels of the TMMi represent progressive waves of capability.  Each of the level, except Initial, has a set of process areas that an organization needs to implement. As an organization moves up the ladder of testing maturity the practices contained in each maturity level form the foundation for the next level.

Note:  The five maturity levels identified in the TMMi are very similar to those identified in the CMMI.  The five maturity levels identified in the CMMI are: Initial, Managed, Defined, Quantitatively Managed and Optimizing.