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Learn More About TMMi.

Updated: Jul 3

By Caroline Julien: Software Quality Assurance (SQA) and Software Maturity Specialist 

Last update: March 14, 2024


In June 2021, my colleague introduced you to TMMi in this article  https://www.zentelia.com/post/le-tmmi-un-standard-plein-de-bon-sens, which remains highly relevant. We learned that TMMi stands for Testing Maturity Model Integration and allows organizations to assess and improve their software testing processes.


Numerous Benefits 


The previous article revealed the results of a survey among companies worldwide using TMMi. To recap, the results showed that 88% of TMMi users reported an improvement in product quality, and 77% commonly observed better testing efficiency. Here are the overall results:



TMMi Maturity Levels 


First, a quick reminder about the maturity levels, of which there are five.

 

The first is the Initial level; it does not include any maturity objectives. All companies are at least at this level.

 

At this level, testing can be disorganized and created ad hoc once development is completed. It mainly aims at debugging. Successes in development depend on individuals (often heroes) and are usually non-repeatable from one project to another. Organizations at Maturity Level 1 are characterized by a tendency to overcommit, abandon processes during crises, and an inability to repeat their successes.

Source: www.tmmi.org


The other levels scale the quality processes to be implemented, from Level 2 to Level 5. The latter aims for the continuous improvement of software testing practices for optimal product quality. Each level is the foundation that supports the previous level; therefore, it is impossible to reach a higher maturity level if the objectives of the lower level are not met.

 

For a description of each level, I invite you to read this other article: The TMMi Maturity Levels


Where to Start 


The approach might interest you, but the apparent heaviness of the process could also discourage you at first glance.

 

However, companies should know that it is possible to benefit from these improvements without committing to the entire TMMi process when certification is not desired.

 

It is indeed possible to draw inspiration from TMMi or start by aiming to implement the first maturity level, or even just a few elements of a level, to begin reaping the benefits. Additional objectives or levels can then be targeted, especially as the benefits obtained will strengthen the legitimacy of the approach with the team and various stakeholders.

 

Moreover, some might fear that the model does not blend well with the agility model already in place in their company. They can be reassured; TMMi can indeed be adapted to be compatible with Agile methods. The training for future TMMi assessors includes an entire section on using TMMi in an Agile context.

 

For more information on integrating TMMi with agility, I recommend this article: TMMi and Agility

 

To get started gradually, two types of assessments could be carried out quickly, at low cost and in a short time, to get an idea of the current maturity level of a project's or an organization’s processes and to highlight areas for improvement.


Lightning Scan 


The "Lightning Scan" is a quick test, conducted in an Excel format, that allows for a self-assessment of one's own maturity level.

 

The "Lightning Scan" includes five questions per process area for TMMi Levels 2 and 3. Although simple and quickly executable, this type of assessment can be very interesting as it allows one to get acquainted with TMMi and understand its elements and functioning more concretely. It also helps raise interest within the team and stakeholders and potentially spark interest in pursuing the process to a more advanced stage.


Quick Scan 


The "Quick Scan" is another type of quick assessment that not only evaluates the maturity level, strengths, and weaknesses of all test processes but also provides recommendations for improving them, thus progressing in maturity. Again, this is a self-assessment but guided by a certified TMMi assessor.

 

Each objective of each process area is evaluated on a scale of 0 to 10 according to three different dimensions, ranging from the ability and willingness to make a change to the added value in the company resulting from the implementation of this element. Following this assessment, the recommendations can be used to plan and implement initial improvements; it is suggested to start with the quickest and easiest to implement: the most "rewarding" in terms of added value.

 

If the result suggests that a maturity level has been reached, the decision to proceed to a more complete and formal assessment can then be made.


Informal and Formal Assessments 


Maturity assessments, whether informal or formal, determine the degree of maturity by analyzing the level of implementation of each practice that supports the objectives defined for each maturity level.

 

More rigorous, the formal assessment requires interviews, and document analysis by several assessors, including at least one lead assessor, and is necessary to obtain an official TMMi certification.

  

Conclusion 


We have thus seen that TMMi, whether used in whole or in part, can be an invaluable support for organizations wishing to improve their testing processes.

 

Zentelia's specialists draw inspiration from TMMi in their various assignments. They can support organizations that would like to carry out one of the TMMi assessment types to know their maturity level and obtain improvement suggestions. In any case, they will support any organization seeking to improve.

 

Ready to dive in or just dip a big toe? Want support in doing so? Feel free to contact us. We will be happy to help you advance your processes toward maturity!

 

Write to us: info@zentelia.com 

 





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