Test Process Improvement – TPI

Testing is often considered as an expensive and uncontrollable process. Testing takes too much time, costs more than planned, and offers insufficient insight of the quality of the test process. Therefore, the quality of the information system and the risks for the business can be very challenging to determine.

Many organizations lack sufficient insight into the effectiveness of their current testing processes however, leaving them unable to efficiently achieve the system quality required by the business. This lack of maturity in a test organization is often most evident in:

  • Frequent conflicts between the business and IT
  • High operating costs, including resources, set-up, and test center maintenance
  • Poor product quality and inadequate intelligence on why quality level has dropped
  • Slower time-to-market and high employee churn

Many organizations recognize that improving the test process is essential for ensuring the quality of the system being tested and business process itself—but remain unsure of the steps required to make this improvement successful.

This is where we come in. Our consultants help establish processes that are tailor-made for your organization.

Improving the test process can be compared to the improvement of any other process.
In test process improvement, generally following steps are used:

  • Determining target and area of consideration. Quality characteristics of testing are determined: is the target to make testing faster, cheaper or with higher coverage? Which test processes are most in need of improvement, how long can the improvement process last, and with what effort?
  • Determining current situation. Strong and weak points of current situation are determined.
  • Determining required situation. Based on the analysis of the current situation and the improvement targets, required situation and the actions needed are determined.
  • Implementing changes. The suggested improvement actions are implemented according to a plan and situation checks are carried out to verify that the targets have been met.

By comparing the test process to a frame of reference the strong and weak aspects of the test process become more visible. A frame of reference can be a test methodology or a model for improving the test process.



Test Process Improvement - TPI®


Test Maturity Model – TMM

The structure of the TMM is partly based on the CMM and the staged version of its successor: the Capability Maturity Model-Integrated (CMM-I). This is a major benefit for organisations that are already familiar with the CMM(I). The TMM consists of 5 maturity levels that reflect a degree oftest process maturity. For each maturity level, a number of process areas are defined. A process area is a cluster of related activities within the test process, e.g. test planning or test training. When these activities are performed adequately, they will contribute to an improved test process. The five levels of the TMM will support an organisation to determine the maturity of its test process and to identify the next improvement steps that are necessary to achieve a higher level oftest maturity

The five maturity levels show an evolution from a chaotic, undefined test process to a controlled and optimised test process and largely reflect the five evolutionary periods. TMM level 1 is related to the “debugging-oriented” period, level 2 to the “demonstration-“ and “destruction-oriented” periods, level 3 to the phase “evaluation-oriented” and level 4 and 5 to the “evaluation-“ and “prevention-oriented” periods. The five maturity levels are also strongly related to the CMM levels. In fact in many cases, a given TMM level needs specific support from key process areas in its corresponding CMM level and the CMM level beneath it.