Continuous progress towards perfection

State of mind

It is not about having something perfect but rather about striving for that perfection

State of mind
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Continuous progress towards perfection

The concept of continuous progress

The notion of "continuous progress" emerged, it seems, in 1834 as a doctrine inherited from the Enlightenment, whose author of this formula did not imagine "how this ever-increasing, and increasingly universal, march would suddenly stop" [Leroux 1834]. This concept was rationalised by Walter Shewhart and popularised by Walter Edward Deming under the acronym "PDCA" for "Plan → Do → Check → Act" [Moen 2010].

Since the industrial revolution, technology seems to have taken the monopoly of progress but it easily appears that innovation can also take place in the business and the combination of technologies with those related to the business gives an innovation matrix in which progress can take place [Davila 2006] [Moustier 2020]

However, continuous progress is not something that can be decreed because the company is often stuck in the will to innovate and production, this is called an "ambidextrous organisation" [Maier 2015]. It is the responsibility of management to facilitate and encourage innovation without overly framing it, particularly by [Davila 2006] :

  • aligning with the company's strategy
  • proposing a certain balance between creativity and productivity
  • encouraging the horizontal sharing of ideas within the company
  • making regular small increments of progress - this is called "Kaizen"
  • mixing Kaizen with sporadic radical innovation - this is called "Kaikaku" [Yamamoto 2013].

Approaches like Kaizen [Maurer 2013] [Dobbs 2015] also provide some answers to facilitate innovation and decomplex continuous progress with management support [McLoughlin 2017], especially in an agile context [Medinilla 2014].

A Kaikaku can be triggered by different factors such as an emergency situation or a will to anticipate necessary changes in the future with six different levers [Yamamoto 2013]:

  • strategy
  • technology
  • processes
  • organisation
  • culture
  • methods and tools

Thus, continuous progress can have several aspects that can be addressed according to opportunities or constraints.

Application to test maturity

For ISO 9000, the principles of quality include continuous progress and testing cannot escape continuous progress because it contributes to it (it is the "Check" stage of a PDCA). Testing has a sort of obligation to be more and more relevant in order to find bugs that are increasingly hard to eliminate, that is to say, to find out what is going on. This is another aspect of the pesticide paradox [Radid 2018-5].

Furthermore, without progress, testing cannot cope with product evolutions both in terms of technology and customer business, organisation, new tools, etc. The agility paradigm has also had an impact on the testing profession, which has had to find new ways of enabling tests to be carried out during the sprint rather than after the sprint [Moustier 2019-1].

Moreover, some requirements can be partially addressed by the development teams, this is the case for example of minor bugs for which the customer can accept their presence, but also of Non-Functional Requirements (NFRs). Indeed, if the product is capable of handling the load of a thousand users, it may be enough to start with, whereas the desired target is ten thousand simultaneous users on the deployed solution, provided that regular progress is noted by the customers on the quality of the product [Moustier 2020].

Agilitest's position on continuous progress

Agilitest allows you to automate regression testing on the product and limits the risk of backtracking on the continuous progress linked to your products.
In the testing business, Agilitest is both close to what already exists in terms of automating these regression tests and disruptive in terms of :

  • its #nocode approach [Forsyth 2021] which simplifies the test automation process and makes automation accessible to all
  • its independence from Selenium makes automation independent of this technology and allows better adaptability of the engine to different types of technologies (Web, Windows, iOS, Android) for the same script
  • the free nature of its execution engine, which is available in open source and available on Github [Pierrehub2b 2021], which gives its users the freedom to change their automation tool while keeping their test assets without having to continue paying licenses; thus, this freedom does not restrict the innovation of Agilitest customers

This approach places Agilitest between Kaizen and Kaikaku in relation to its competitors.

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© Christophe Moustier - 2021