Jim Intriglia

Renaissance Soul, Unleashed.

The Value of Peer Reviews, Walkthroughs, and Inspections

Bob Crews, President and Co-Founder of Checkpoint Technologies, is the author of a new series "Quality in a Quick", a new educational series on Software Quality Assurance. What follows are my notes from the Peer Reviews presentation.

Bob Crews, President and Co-Founder of Checkpoint Technologies, is the author of a new Software Quality Assurance series "Quality in a Quick". What follows are my notes from the Peer Reviews presentation.

Goal of a Review: To identify defects within the stage or phase of the project where they originate, rather than in later test stages. This is also referred to as Stage Containment.

Types of Reviews:
    • Feasibility Reviews
    • Requirements Reviews
    • Design
    • Code Walkthroughs and Inspections
    • Requirements tracing

A Review is a quality control technique that relies on individuals, other than the author(s) of the deliverable, to evaluate the deliverable.

The Purposes of Reviews is to:
    • find errors in deliverable before it is actually delivered o the customer of the next step of the development cycle
    • Emphasize quality throughout the SDLC
    • Detects defects where they are introduced (phase containment)
    • Provides a logical opportunity to involve the customer and other key groups
    • Permits mid-course corrections during development

During a software review, SQA and test engineering professionals have the opportunity to consider approaches to test features, functions and capabilities discussed during a meeting.

Most defects are introduced early during the requirements phase. A peer review provides the opportunity to detect defects sooner in the development lifecycle of the product.

Customer can provide input via the review process so mid-course corrections can be made by the development team.

Prerequisites for Peer Review include:
    • Must be enforced; held periodically throughout the software development lifecycle
    • Have senior management to allow commitment of time and resources.
    • Review process must be well defined and understood
    • Training must be provided for peer review team members 

The Peer Review evaluates the correctness of a database, program module or requirement document. The evaluation is based upon whether a product satisfies specification or entrance criteria.

The steps or workflow of a Peer Review consists of: 
    • Planning
    • Overview
    • Preparation - Team members must be prepared for review in advance
    • Inspection
    • Rework
    • Follow-Up

Peer Review Team Roles include:
    • Moderator
    • Reader
    • Recorder - Note and classify the errors that are detected. Share the error list with the team at the  end of the meeting.
    • Author or producers
    • Inspectors - Inspect the product closely; they must be subjective and supportive.
    • Standards expert - Know policies, procedures, IT standards- ensures standards are met and procedures are followed.

Upcoming Events
STPCon Spring, April 9-12, Newport Beach, CA
Quality Jam, April 10-11, Atlanta, GA
ITSM with Atlassian, April 25, 12-1pm ET

Peer Review questions may be submitted to quality@checkpointtech.com.

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