IDEAL Initialising phase

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During the initialising phase of the IDEAL process the infrastructure for a successful change program is established. This includes defining:

  • The goals
  • The expected results and
  • What needs to be contributed by different stakeholders

The goals of a TMMi implementation must be in line with the quality and organisational goals. It is not always possible to define them in a SMART way (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based) so they may be addressed in more detail during the Establishing phase.

The initialising phase required strong commitment from senior management (e.g. from the Test, Information and Communication Technology and Business Management departments). The initialising phase contains three stages

  • Set the context for change
  • Build up sponsorship
  • Charter the infrastructure required

The ‘Stimulus for Change’ is A “quasi-activity”. While it is not technically a part of any activity, it is the condition, event, or direction that indicates that some sort of change is needed. It therefore initiates an IDEAL cycle.

The organisation needs to realise change is necessary and this can come from a number of sources including:

  • Dissatisfaction with current testing
  • Unexpected incidents
  • Changing circumstances
  • TMMi assessment
  • Market trends

Change needs to contribute to success of the organisation and complement existing quality and organisational goals. In the situation we are currently discussing (TMMi), gaps in the test process or a failure to achieve a required TMMi Maturity Level are the most likely stimuli for change.

Set Context

To set the context for changes to be implemented, there are a number of considerations, including:

  • How does the change fit with quality and business strategies?
  • Which specific organisational goals will be met by the improvement?
  • How will current projects be affected?
  • What objectives are to be tackled – reduce defects or reduce testing time?

As the implementation project progresses, the context and the associated effects will become more apparent, but a clear framework must be established to begin with.

Build Sponsorship

Building sponsorship includes gaining support from responsible (senior) managers and making sure they are willing to provide resources for the activities to come. All stakeholders will be affected by the changes, so sponsorship is key to encourage and provide active participation from everybody and to promote the project during times of resistance.

Charter Infrastructure

An infrastructure is required to implement the change project. The infrastructure will include defined roles and responsibilities for conducting the work. Typically the infrastructure could include:

  • A project board covering several improvement teams.
    • This would normally consist of:
      • A Sponsor (or Sponsors)
      • A Project Manager
      • External consultants (if needed)
      • A TMMi expert

The Board is responsible for the improvement program, plans, milestones and final report. It has the ultimate power to decide on actions and is the highest escalation point.