Test Maturity Assessment against Industry Norms
Productivity is continually increasing and customers are demanding even higher levels of quality. Even if the present test process is fitting and satisfactory, this process will need perfection in the future. Thus, improving the test process is necessary for maintaining software quality and overall business processes.
TPI offers insight into the maturity of the current test procedures and discovers improvement actions to accomplish the desired test maturity level and business objectives.
ImpactQA Test Advisory Competency
TPI (Test Process Improvement)
We have our own set of guidelines for defining a test process to deliver an optimal product which is not only synonymous with quality but also comes with an ease of maintenance.
Continuous need for Test Improvement
With the fast pace of changes in technologies, the test process models need enhancements to support such technologies. We know that the aim of testing is to enhance the overall software quality along with the final product. Just like the techniques of process enhancement are used in software development, similarly, they can also be used to revamp the test process.
Advantages of Test Process Improvement
The cost/ budget of a product cannot be overlooked while developing it. It is one of the major concerns and hence, the demand for continuous enhancements in the test process of the organization is increased to potentially minimize the cost of quality.
Based on this understanding particular models for test improvement have been developed to solve this issue. Some of them are:
- Test Maturity Model integration (TMMi)
- Critical Testing Processes (CTP)
- Test Process Improvement Next (TPI Next)
- Systematic Test & Evaluation Process (STEP)
Comprehensive View of the TPI models
Testing Maturity Model integration (TMMi)
This model augments the CMMI model and contains five levels of maturity. Every level of maturity has preset processes areas with extensive goals and with specific goals. The organization will be able to shift to an upper maturity level only after the following goals are at least 85% complete.
Maturity levels defined for TMMi
- Level 1: Initial
The testing process is not properly organized or even logged officially. The tests themselves are commenced in an unplanned fashion as and when required, once the coding is complete.
- Level 2: Managed
If the testing activity is segregated from the debugging task, the organization outreaches the managed level. To achieve this level, test objectives and test approach must be defined clearly. The basic flow seen in test processes like developing a test plan, implementing testing methodology and techniques, must be put to test.
- Level 3: Defined
Here in this level, testing is an inherent part of the comprehensive software development process. Testing processes have formally defined standards, methods, and activities that are recorded. There is a well-defined test function for software testing that is supervised and governed and reviews occur periodically.
- Level 4: Measured
This maturity level is achieved when the test activity can be systematically measured and controlled at the company level for independent projects benefit.
- Level 5: Optimized
This highest maturity level is said to be achieved if data collected as a result of testing activities is used to minimize defects. The main aim at this level is to improve the existing test processes.
Critical Testing Processes (CTP)
CTP model presumes that some testing processes are critical. If implemented properly, the testing teams will be successfully favored by the critical processes. Contrarily, if these tests are not executed properly, even the most accomplished and skilled teams can fail, making the most competent testers and Test Managers fail.
CTP is basically a content reference model and discerns 12 test processes that are critical. The CTP evaluation model can be customized as per the requirements of the organizations to include:
- Identifying specific challenges
- Recognizing characteristics of good test processes
- Prioritizing suggested rectifications that are crucial to the organization
The Critical Testing Processes model can be fused within any SDLC model. CTP model uses metrics to collate companies against supreme practices and averages in the industry, which are acquired from interviews with candidates.
Test Process Improvement (TPI) Next
With the TPI Next model, each aspect of the test activity, like test planning, test environment, test metrics, etc. – is covered by 16 preset areas. This model consists of 4 maturity levels:
Each of the 16 main fields is evaluated using preset checkpoints at every maturity level. Based on evaluation results, a maturity matrix is created to help in visualizing and summarizing the key areas.
Definition of targets for improvement and their implementation is tailored according to the test organizations requirements and capacities. Test Process Improvement Next model is unconventional of all software development process enhancement models because of its comprehensive nature. It covers test engineering as decision support systems.
Systematic Test and Evaluation Process (STEP)
In STEP and CTP, it is not mandatory for enhancements to take place in a predefined order, unlike TMMi and TPI Next.
Systematic Test and Evaluation Process is a content reference model that postulates that the testing process starts with software product requirement gathering phase and proceeds untill the system retires. It stresses on “testing before coding” through a test approach based on requirements. This ensures that the test cases are created early which in turn affirms that the requirements are correct before the designing and coding phase begins.
These are some of the basic presumptions of the STEP model: