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Learn More About TMMi: Part 2.

Updated: Jul 3

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

March 6, 2024

In the previous article, we highlighted the potential benefits of adopting the TMMi framework for testing processes in software development. We also discussed the types of evaluations available for those looking to begin an improvement journey.


For those interested, we will now delve into a more in-depth study of the maturity levels.

The TMMi Maturity Levels

First, a brief reminder about the maturity levels.


We saw that there are five; however, the first is the initial level and does not have maturity objectives. Therefore, there are four maturity levels that an organization can aspire to achieve.


At the initial level, testing can be disorganized, often created on an "ad hoc" basis. Tests are performed under pressure, due to lack of time and/or resources and tools, and aim to demonstrate that the program executes correctly. The successes achieved depend on individuals and cannot be systematically reproduced.

Level 2: Managed

This is the first level that aims and recognizes a certain maturity.


To clarify, for all levels from 2 to 5, the elements found in them (see the previous figure) are called "process areas."


The TMMi describes specific objectives for each of these process areas; achieving these objectives for a maturity level is mandatory to confirm the attainment of that same level.


Specific practices as well as sub-practices are also provided by TMMi to facilitate understanding and/or implementation of the objectives. Practices are "expected," thus not mandatory, allowing some flexibility by offering alternative solutions to achieve the objectives.


The process areas of the second tier are project-level oriented. Among others, a testing policy is established based on the company's values and objectives. A testing strategy and plan are developed; a process for monitoring testing and product quality is ensured; tests and the environment are analyzed, implemented, and executed.

A Word About Generic Goals

Beyond the specific maturity levels, the TMMi also suggests achieving two generic goals essential for the success of continuous improvement of testing processes.


The achievement of the first one crowns Level 2 and must be maintained at higher levels. This goal states that the elements of the level must not only be implemented but also institutionalized, meaning they must be well and deeply integrated so that, even in times of stress or difficulties, they can be maintained.


The second generic goal applies only from Level 3 and emphasizes the importance of continuous improvement and optimization of testing processes. This involves regular evaluation and adaptation of testing practices to meet the evolving needs of the organization and market challenges.

Level 3: Defined

At Level 3, the organization is more extensively structured. The roles of each person are well-defined, and training is planned and executed. The organization's various resources, including standards, guidelines, and libraries, are well identified and established. Additionally, the test lifecycle is integrated into all stages of the development cycle.


Furthermore, non-functional testing approaches (e.g., performance, security, usability, reliability testing, etc.) and peer reviews will be developed and put into action.


At this stage, too, the more general goal of institutionalization established at Level 2 must be revisited and deployed at the organizational level; it will also be necessary to ensure the deep integration of Level 3 elements, which corresponds to the second of the two generic goals.


These two generic goals must subsequently be implemented for each of the following maturity levels.

Levels 4 and 5

Many companies interested in improving their testing processes will choose to implement only maturity levels 2 and 3, which already allow them to reap enormous benefits. This does not prevent them from selecting processes from levels 4 and 5 that provide the most added valueto their company.


However, companies, especially large organizations where security is an absolute priority, such as banks, aiming to obtain TMMi certification must achieve the goals set at each level of the model.


At Level 4, quality metrics will be defined, and the quality of processes and products will be analyzed and measured according to these metrics.


Procedures for collecting, analyzing, storing, and transmitting metrics and their results will be defined and applied. These measures will then be used to establish a quantitative understanding of product quality, enabling the achievement of measurable quality goals.


More advanced evaluations will be introduced; static testing approaches (evaluation of artifacts without program execution, allowing potential errors to be detected early in development) and dynamic testing (analysis of behavior during execution) will be harmonized; quality and adjustments to the testing approach, based on peer review results, will be made early in the lifecycle.


At Level 5, various avenues will be used to optimize processes and ensure continuous improvement. Preventing defects through root cause analysis and elimination, using statistical processes, selecting and deploying improvements to testing processes, evaluating and selecting new technologies, reusing quality test assets, will be some of the strategies deployed at this level.


We have previously explored how TMMi offers invaluable support to organizations looking to improve their testing processes, whether in whole or in part.


Zentelia specialists leverage TMMi to guide various mandates. They can use different forms of evaluation to help companies understand their current maturity level and gain improvement opportunities aligned with the TMMi framework, and even support those seeking certification.

If your interest is piqued and you have questions or want to learn more, do not hesitate to contact us. We would be pleased to assist you in your journey towards improving your testing process!

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Don't miss the final part of the article!

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