Entries Tagged 'ISO standards' ↓

CMMI Appraisals – Tester’s Journey as an Appraisal Team Member (ATM)

CMMI Appraisal

Personal Note: It’s a great opportunity for any QA/Tester to be a CMMI Appraisal Team Member (ATM). ATM gets an extensive exposure of a complete CMMI model. If your organization is going for appraisal and if you get an opportunity to be an ATM, grab it. It’s an achievement that you will like to add on to your resume.

To Readers: Appraisal is a complex and time taking process. However, I have tried to describe it as simple as possible. This article will give you a brief idea about CMMI Appraisal. It’s not about CMMI model but it will explain what happens during appraisal! There may be understanding problems initially (If you are not familiar with CMMI terminology) but, until you arrive at an example below, Please keep reading until then. Continue reading →

How to Achieve Level 5 Maturity for QA and Testing Process

This article explains what are CMM levels and how to achieve these CMM levels for QA processes – explained with best examples.

For any process, whether it is a QA process, development process or any non-technical process, there are levels of its maturity. By levels of maturity, we mean that the level of formality and processes improvement, like ad-hoc processes – to formally defined steps – to managed result metrics – to optimization of the processes.


CMM (Capability Maturity Model) is a process-based model which is used to assess the maturity of an organization for different domains. The concept of CMM was introduced by Software Engineering Institute (SEI) in the USA.

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What are the Quality attributes?

First in brief know what is Quality? Quality can be define in different manner. Quality definition may differ from person to person. But finally there should be some standards. So Quality can be defined as

  • Degree of excellence – Oxford dictionary
  • Fitness for purpose – Edward Deming
  • Best for the customer’s use and selling price – Feigenbaum
  • The totality of characteristics of an entity that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs – ISO

How a Product developer will define quality – The product which meets the customer requirements.
How Customer will define Quality – Required functionality is provided with user friendly manner.

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What is SEI? CMM? ISO? IEEE? ANSI? Will it help?

· SEI = ‘Software Engineering Institute’ at Carnegie-Mellon University; initiated by the U.S. Defense Department to help improve software development processes.

· CMM = ‘Capability Maturity Model’, developed by the SEI. It’s a model of 5 levels of organizational ‘maturity’ that determine effectiveness in delivering quality software. It is geared to large organizations such as large U.S. Defense Department contractors. However, many of the QA processes involved are appropriate to any organization, and if reasonably applied can be helpful. Organizations can receive CMM ratings by undergoing assessments by qualified auditors.

Level 1 – characterized by chaos, periodic panics, and heroic efforts required by individuals to successfully complete projects. Few if any processes in place; successes may not be repeatable.

Level 2 – software project tracking, requirements management, realistic planning, and configuration management processes are in place; successful practices can be repeated.

Level 3 – standard software development and maintenance processes are integrated throughout an organization; a Software Engineering Process Group is in place to oversee software processes, and training programs are used to ensure understanding and compliance.

Level 4 – metrics are used to track productivity, processes, and products. Project performance is predictable, and quality is consistently high.

Level 5 – the focus is on continuous process improvement. The impact of new processes and technologies can be predicted and effectively implemented when required.

· ISO = ‘International Organization for Standards’ – The ISO 9001, 9002, and 9003 standards concern quality systems that are assessed by outside auditors, and they apply to many kinds of production and manufacturing organizations, not just software. The most comprehensive is 9001, and this is the one most often used by software development organizations. It covers documentation, design, development, production, testing, installation, servicing, and other processes. ISO 9000-3 (not the same as 9003) is a guideline for applying ISO 9001 to software development organizations. The U.S. version of the ISO 9000 series standards is exactly the same as the international version, and is called the ANSI/ASQ Q9000 series. The U.S. version can be purchased directly from the ASQ (American Society for Quality) or the ANSI organizations. To be ISO 9001 certified, a third-party auditor assesses an organization, and certification is typically good for about 3 years, after which a complete reassessment is required. Note that ISO 9000 certification does not necessarily indicate quality products – it indicates only that documented processes are followed.

· IEEE = ‘Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ – among other things, creates standards such as ‘IEEE Standard for Software Test Documentation’ (IEEE/ANSI Standard 829), ‘IEEE Standard of Software Unit Testing (IEEE/ANSI Standard 1008), ‘IEEE Standard for Software Quality Assurance Plans’ (IEEE/ANSI Standard 730), and others.

· ANSI = ‘American National Standards Institute’, the primary industrial standards body in the U.S.; publishes some software-related standards in conjunction with the IEEE and ASQ (American Society for Quality).