STEP (Systematic Test and Evaluation Process), like CTP and unlike TMMi and TPI Next, does not require that improvements occur in a specific order.
STEP is primarily a content reference model which is based upon the idea that testing is a lifecycle activity that begins during requirements formulation and continues until retirement of the system. The STEP methodology stresses “test then code” by using a requirements-based testing strategy to ensure that early creation of test cases validates the requirements specification prior to design and coding.
Basic premises of the methodology include:
- A requirements-based testing strategy
- Testing starts at the beginning of the lifecycle
- Tests are used as requirements and usage models
- Testware design leads software design
- Defects are detected earlier or prevented altogether
- Defects are systematically analyzed
- Testers and developers work together
In some cases the STEP assessment model is blended with the TPI Next maturity model.