The principles of TMMi structure

Before we jump into a description of the Process Areas that make up Maturity Level 2 of the model, let us make sure you understand the principles of the way the model works.

I will use a metaphor of building a house (I mentioned this earlier).

How do you build a house? Good foundations are very important for a house and these must be in place before constructing walls, floors and putting on the roof. Attention must also be paid to the infrastructure – electrics, plumbing, security, insulation and the rest.

TMMi Level 2 is doing this – ensuring the foundations of a test process are in place and strong enough before anything else is done.

Is every house the same? No, but the principles are the same. Whether it is a bungalow, semi-detached house or block of flats, it still needs solid foundations, good design and a decent framework for the building to keep standing.

What are the basic generic foundations of a good quality process?

  • A clear understanding of the objectives of testing
  • A clear statement of what must be undertaken and
  • A precise definition of how this is to be implemented for the project
  • Performance indicators need to be identified to measure the quality of the product (house) and
  • The process for checking (testing) and delivery of the product (the finished house)

Once you have the foundations laid, what next? Is it all built as a big bang? No – there will be incremental stages for building the house. As in TMMi, there are stages of build. The first thing to ensure is that all the houses are built the same way. This requires an organisational framework to ensure the consistent quality of products as well as making sure the resources and process to deliver are in place. This is TMMi Level 3.

Now it is all following a standard, how to proceed with the building? We need to make sure that the process to build a house is effective and efficient. This means ensuring that sufficient accurate information is available when required throughout the building process and to ensure we evaluate quality continuously according to the requirements and agreed standards.

There is also the concept of a formalised early review of what is proposed to ensure it will be of good quality before we start to build. This is embodied in continuous measurement and evaluation of the quality of the product and the process.

The building is finished – now what? You move in but do you stop maintaining the building? No! as with testing, Nirvana is continuous monitoring and evaluation of what is happening to see if the process can be improved. It also allows for prediction of problems and the chance to prevent them from happening.