More with less

State of mind

Try to get rid of the unnecessary and constantly optimise by innovating on methods

State of mind

More with less, a concept to be explained

Scarcity of resources tends to generate deleterious situations, especially if these situations are not managed, especially when time is short.

The feeling of deprivation thus diverts our cognitive capacity from urgent things to things that are certainly important but less essential [Deloitte 2016].

Conversely, the overflow of available resources, if poorly controlled, leads to misuse of resources and induces waste and neglect [Morgan 2015].

It turns out that deprivation of resources is actually a source of innovation [Neren 2011] and the mindset in which deprivation or abundance of available resources makes all the difference with a few tricks like [Castrillon 2020]:

  • focus on what you have
  • surround yourself with people who have an abundance mindset as they bring a sense of optimism through hindsight, which generates inspiration
    create win-win situations
  • integrate gratitude into daily life
  • practising recognising possible openings

It is in this state of mind that a team will be able to innovate with fewer resources.

We find the desire for fewer things to be done as proposed by the LeSS agile framework by proclaiming "More with LeSS" as the subtitle of one of its books [Larman 2016] and by putting this principle at the heart of the framework, notably by avoiding the proliferation [LeSS 2021] of:

  • of roles that dilute responsibilities
  • processes that diminish ownership of objectives and hinder continuous progress
  • artefacts that distract teams from focusing on the customer

To which we can also add, for example:

  • the "80/20 law" which allows 80% of a need to be addressed with 20% of the effort [Koch 2011]
  • having an organisation with fewer people, especially on backlogged projects to reduce the effects of the "Weinberg-Brooks law" [Wikipedia 2020] - the presence of fewer people to limit the presence of more managers and the introduction of greater complexity [SAFe 2021-17] and more organisational theories such as the theory of constraints, panarchy or subsidiarity [Moustier 2020]
  • the quantity of elements in the backlog with the notion of WIP which proposes to process fewer things at once to deliver more added value [SAFe 2021-6].
    the "rule of 30" which limits the quantity of lines of code per function, functions per class, etc. [Bird 2013]. [Bird 2013]

When there is less to manage, deprivation then changes into a context of controlled abundance with its benefits such as [Andersen 2017]:

  • openness to collaboration
  • willingness to learn from others
  • trust
  • the desire to share
  • the ability to achieve what is expected

Application to test maturity

A large pool of tests can be reassuring and even a source of pride. But when it comes to updating this asset following a major change in the domain, the amount of work can become greater. This introduces technical debt into the backlog [Moustier 2020] and is thus a brake on the product delivery cycle.

To achieve this, it is necessary to:

  • Regularly clean up the backlog
  • Eliminate bugs as soon as they are identified; in any case, those that are easiest to correct [Appelo 2010].

One can also, for example:

  • have succinctly described scenarios with scenarios described by intention rather than very detailed scenarios
  • try to test less by [Moustier 2019-1]

              ○    preventing bugs from appearing rather than looking for them

              ○    understanding what to test rather than checking functionality

              ○    designing a better system rather than trying to break it

              ○    unit tests

              ○    code production

              ○    design

              ○    knowledge sharing

              ○    on-the-fly code review

              ○    obtain better quality code than if it were developed alone

              ○    improve the "First Pass Yield"

  • using executable specifications [Ambler 2021], in particular through the practice of ATDD, which provides both specifications and executable tests that automatically check the acceptance of a User Story (US) and the absence of regression in the other US

Thus, the knowledge of lean, agile and testing practices allows us to find and even imagine ways to do more with less work.

Agilitest's position on this practice

As a tool for automating scripted tests, agility allows for executable specifications if the organisation decides to practice ATDD.

Furthermore, Agilitest is part of the "more with less" practice as the tool uses a #nocode approach [Forsyth 2021]. The lack of possibility of algorithms seems at first sight, especially for developers, to be a limitation, especially on the desire to make a script generic.

This is actually an advantage because the generation of scripts is then direct. Thus, there is less chance of introducing false positives into the possibilities of the script.

To discover the whole set of practices, click here.

To go further

  • [Moustier 2019-1] : Christophe Moustier – JUN 2019 – « Le test en mode agile » - ISBN 978-2-409-01943-2
© Christophe Moustier - 2021