Improvement - overview


Quality was, is and remains a challenge within the IT industry. Testing is not the sole solution to this. After all, quality has to be built in, not tested in! Testing is the instrument that can provide insight into the quality of information systems, so that test results – provided that they are accurately interpreted – deliver a contribution to the improvement of the quality of information systems. Testing should be embedded in a system of measures in order to arrive at quality. In other words, testing should be embedded in the quality management of the organisation.

The definition of quality as expressed by the ISO strongly hints at its elusiveness. What is clearly implied to one is anything but to another. Implicitness is very much subjective. An important aspect of quality management is therefore the minimization of implied requirements, by converting them into specified requirements and making visible to what degree the specified requirements are met. The structural improvement of quality should take place top-down. To this end, measures should be taken to establish those requirements and to render the development process manageable.

The implementation or improvement of a test approach is not something that can be done casually. Among other things, it requires knowledge of the current test maturity of an organisation and of the environment in which the testing is to be implemented or improved. It should also be clear why there is a need for certain test aspects to be improved. It often seems difficult in practice to determine what steps should be taken in which sequence in order to implement or improve the testing. The "Test Process Improvement" model is a popular model of step-by-step implementation and improvement of a test approach for teams that work in a sequential model (waterfall) to deliver software.

Read more: Test Process Improvement (TPI) building block.

The TPI NEXT model was enhanced to a useful tool for testing in DevOps and other Agile approaches. Where TPI NEXT focuses on the test process, the Agile model follows a more test individual activity and team approach. Test activities in the Agile TPI model are not separated from the other disciplines but distinguished, in order to enforce testing and support the other disciplines. Like the TPI NEXT model the maturity of activities can be measured and improved on the individual level of the tester as well as the teams and organizational level.

Read more: Agile Test Practice Improvement (Agile TPI) building block.

Quality in Agile is about continuous improvement. To encourage and give focus to this improvement mindset we introduced the Agile Quality Improvement (AQI) Framework. This framework starts from Business drivers, translated to IT-Goals and organized by key areas. Crucial here is the balance between the individual teams and the supporting organization. These two need to be on the same level. In other words. When you have high mature self-organizing teams, the supporting organization should allow more autonomy and responsibility on team-level. When you have newly formed teams with lower level of self-organization the supporting organization should provide more guidance and support towards the team.

Read more: Agile Quality Improvement (AQI) Framework building block.