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INSIGHTS / Case Studies

IPO: Harnessing the Efficiency of TMMi

 25 May 2023 
IPO: Harnessing the Efficiency of TMMi IPO: Harnessing the Efficiency of TMMi
IPO: Harnessing the Efficiency of TMMi
INSIGHTS / Case Studies

IPO: Harnessing the Efficiency of TMMi

 25 May 2023 

How the IPO in the United Kingdom used our TMMi services and training to benchmark its testing maturity and implement improvements.


The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in the United Kingdom is the official Government agency responsible for intellectual property (IP) rights, including patents, designs, trademarks, and copyright. Its main function is to maintain and enforce a clear and accessible intellectual property system that helps people get the right type of protection for their creation or invention.

The IPO’s team of approximately 1,600, split between offices in Newport and London, is made up of specialists in rights-granting, IT, finance, and HR. Like many Government departments and agencies, a robust and secure digital experience plays a big role in their day-to-day operation.

For patent documentation, the IPO is certified to BS 10008, the British standard that outlines best practice for the implementation and operation of electronic information management systems, including the storage and transfer of information. Testing and quality assurance played a big role in achieving and maintaining this certification, and the agency also wants to gain the BS 10008 standard for its trademarks and designs.

The IPO’s original Test Maturity Model integration (TMMi) Level 3 certification was coming up for renewal and, having experienced the benefits of TMMi, it wanted to uplift its maturity level and be certified at TMMi Level 4. To do so, the IPO needed a trusted quality expert to check their existing process were still working well, and prepare them for the requirements of Level 4. Since the agency already had experience with TMMi, a framework which looks at software testing at different maturity levels, IPO’s Head of Profession for Test, Fraser Daviss, was keen to realise additional benefits from it.

"Having a soon-to-expire TMMi Level 3 certification and embarking on a major project, it was important for our organisation and, more importantly, our software delivery colleagues to review and implement test improvement opportunities to a recognised standard,” he says. “Although we knew some of these had slipped due to a variety of reasons, we weren’t sure of which and to what extent."

"We were also keen to make further improvements, which would provide benefits to wider project goals, such as the product quality evaluation. Although our toolset provides a myriad of data and metrics, were we really maximising their use by understanding what we were really looking for or why? And were we missing some fundamentals which often are the first to be overlooked?”


The IPO selected Planit to deliver a Level 4 TMMi Assessment, the stage measurement of activities and outcomes is applied early in projects to ensure, at each phase of development, they are as defect-free as possible. Advanced reviews are also in use throughout projects, building on the review practices introduced at Level 3.

Clive Bates, from Planit, led the engagement, which included an informal TMMi Assessment, process improvement workshop, and mentoring. As Clive has over 12 years running TMMi Assessments internationally and delivering the TMMi Professional and Assessor courses, and as the TMMi Foundations Accreditation Chair, he was able to draw upon his extensive experience and provide the IPO unique insights not found anywhere else.

"Clive was our guiding star throughout the process,” Fraser says. “Initial conversations with him were relaxed, informative, and supportive, and he then presented and explained the benefits to senior stakeholders, helping to ensure buy-in across the organisation. The informal Assessment, an essential in my view should anyone have doubts, was equally reassuring and eye-opening at the same time.”

"There were "known knowns", but also areas which were neglected and required significant attention. This enabled us to reevaluate and embark on a journey of improvement over the next few months, which was equally led throughout our test community, with Clive always being on-hand to help address any queries.”

The IPO is committed to the continued training and development of its staff, and has been recognised with several Investor in People and Customer Excellence awards for this. The TMMi Assessment by us became another opportunity for the agency to upskill its people, this time in the ways to use TMMi to successfully identify opportunities and implement improvements.

“To support us further, Clive delivered TMMi Professional and Assessor training to our staff,” Fraser says. “The former was especially beneficial, as it provided staff with confidence to challenge current practices whilst aligning against the TMMi framework.”


At the conclusion of the engagement, Planit carried out the formal assessment that led to the IPO's certification in TMMi Level 4. This outcome, paired with the sage advice and wealth of personal service provided by Planit, culminated in an immensely positive experience and successful engagement for the client.

“Fast forward a few months and we achieved the TMMi Level 4 certification – a huge achievement given project priorities, but also one which ensures we maximise testing efficiency,” Fraser says. "Key areas of improvement include factoring in risk to both functional and non-functional testing, focusing and accurately reporting on key metrics, and overall improvement in holistic working as part of Agile delivery.”

"One member of staff has also become an accredited TMMi Assessor and can carry out informal assessments. This will help ensure we maintain and build on the momentum from the formal assessment.”

"Overall, I cannot fault the professionalism, dedication, and courtesy that Clive provided during our journey. Without him or TMMi, there was a real risk of inefficient processes delaying delivery or, even worse, releasing poor product quality to our customers."

Key Outcomes:
  • Better testing efficiency from TMMi Level 4 certification.
  • Improved testing practices and confidence from TMMi training.
  • Ability to factor in risk to both functional and non-functional testing.
  • Focused and accurate reporting on key metrics.
  • Improvement in holistic working as part of Agile delivery.

  • TMMi Informal Assessment
  • Process Improvement Workshop and mentoring
  • TMMi Formal Assessment
  • TMMi Professional Training
  • TMMi Assessor Training
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