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Software Testing – Test Maturity Model

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The Test Maturity Model (TMM) in software testing is a framework for assessing the software testing process with the intention of improving it. It is based on Capability Maturity Model(CMM). It was first produced by the Illinois Institute of Technology with an aim to assess the maturity of the test processes and to provide targets that improve the maturity.

Currently, there is a Test Maturity Model Integration (TMMI) which has replaced the Test Maturity Model. TMMI has a five-level model that provides a framework to measure the maturity of the testing processes. The purpose of a Test maturity model is to find the maturity and provide targets for enhancing the overall software testing process. If you’re aiming to excel in roles like Software Tester, QA Engineer, or Test Automation Engineer, explore Complete Guide to Software Testing and Automation.

The following topics will be discussed here:

  1. Five Levels Of TMM
  2. TMM vs CMM
  3. Benefits Of TMM
  4. Need For TMM
  5. How To Achieve Highest Test Maturity With TMM

Let’s start discussing each of these topics in detail.

Need For TMM

We need the Maturity model for the following reasons:

  • It helps in better assessment and enhancement of the quality of the testing process.
  • The software quality and efficiency of the testing processes increase manyfold.
  • As it is a test process model we can integrate it with other development models too.
  • Since software testing is not totally defect-free, the TMMi model aims at reducing the defects to as minimum as possible.

Five Levels of TMM

Below are the five different levels that help in achieving the Test Maturity:

Level 1: Initialization

  • At this level, we are able to run the software without any hindrances or blocks.
  • There are no exactly defined testing processes.
  • Quality checks are not done before the software release.
  • Adhoc Testing is performed. (I.e. No testing process is there)

Level 2: Definition

  • This is the second level of the Test Maturity Model.
  • At this level, the requirements are defined
  • The test strategies, test plans, and test cases are created at this level.
  • All the test cases are executed against the requirements and hence the testing is done.

Level 3: Integration

  • This is the third level of the Test Maturity Model.
  • Testing procedures are integrated with the SDLC process and it is performed independently after the development phase is completed.
  • The object is tested to manage the risks.

Level 4: Measurement and Management

  • This is the fourth level of the Test Maturity Model.
  • All the testing procedures become part of the software life cycle.
  • These include reviews of requirement analysis, design documents, and Code reviews.
  • Integration and Unit testing as a part of coding is done here.
  • All the Testing related activities are measured here.

Level 5: Optimization

  • This is the fifth level of the Test Maturity Model.
  • Testing processes are optimized.
  • The Testing process is verified and measures are taken for improvement.
  • There are proper measures taken for defect prevention and care is taken for those improvements to not reoccur in the future.
  • This step is characterized by the usage of different tools for testing optimization.



S No.

Test Maturity Model

Capability Maturity Model

1. It is used specifically for testing the software testing model quality. It is used specifically for determining the maturity of organizational software processes.
2. It is used as a framework along with the Capability Maturity Model. It controls the software development procedures.
3. TMMi focuses on software testing activities of the STLC and is responsible for the quality of the testing process. CMMi focuses on software development activities of the SDLC.

Benefits of TMM

  • The process is organized as each level is well defined and all the deliverables are achieved.
  • As evident from level 4, all the codes are reviewed, and test plans are properly executed. This leads to no contradictions and therefore the requirements are clear.
  • This model was created keeping in mind the minimization of defects. Hence, maximum defects are identified and the final product is defect-free, therefore prioritizing its defect prevention objective.
  • Quality of the software is assured as the testing procedures are integrated with all phases of the Software lifecycle.
  • Risks are reduced considerably and time is saved.

How to Achieve Highest Test Maturity With TMM?

TMM in software testing offers great help to the testing team which includes the testers,  managers, and key stakeholders for determining the required test cycles for proceeding to the next stage. It starts with the QA operations team matching each of the TMM stage’s elements for figuring out the exact level of the test cycle. Next, proper steps are required for improving the test maturity model.

There are 5 levels for achieving this. They are as follows:

1. Level 1 to Level 2: Level 1 is characterized by inconsistency. The testing procedures are not coherent and not systematic and there is no control in the entire operations. There is a need for a proper structure and better project management operations for proceeding to Level 2. At level 2, step definition and their implementations are finalized and documented. This level is known as “Defined” due to the fact that proper rules are put in place and they are abided by.

2. Level 2 to Level 3: After Level 2 has been achieved, the testing team is provided with all the resources required for testing. New methods and activities required for the completion of testing are documented and the resources are trained accordingly. These new methods are applied in the upcoming sprints and the software lifecycle. For proceeding to level 3, the documentation process, standardization techniques, and the number of integrations of people are gradually increased.

3. Level 3 to Level 4: At level 4, all the processes and methods from level 3 are used. The aim of this level is to take control of the components and tasks and manage the resources effectively. Any manager who wants to adjust some procedures can enquire about it and can be done without affecting software quality. At this level, To make methods more productive, large methods are broken down into smaller units and then proper metrics are assigned for evaluation of the smaller parts.
Level 4, also known as “management and measurement” strives to maximize the performance of resources using necessary tools and defined processes.

4. Level 4 to Level 5: Level 5 is the final and the peak level of achieving test maturity. Here, innovation is the key to driving new changes and improving existing methodologies and processes. This level inculcates an Agile mindset among the QA team members. New methods, tools, and technologies are incorporated in Level 4 and checked whether the methods produce better outputs or not. Awareness about upcoming new tools and technologies is always being made aware.
Competing organizations’ methods are kept an eye on and the existing processes of QA operations are innovated to produce the best results.

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Last Updated : 28 Nov, 2023
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