Software Reviews

A formal technical review (FTR) is a software quality control activity performed by software engineers (and others).

The objectives of an FTR are:

  • To uncover errors in function, logic, or implementation for any representation of the software
  • To verify that the software under review meets its requirements
  • To ensure that the software has been represented according to predefined standards
  • To achieve software that is developed in a uniform manner
  • To make projects more manageable.

Review Reporting and Record Keeping

  • During the FTR, a reviewer (the recorder) actively records all issues that have been raised
  • These are summarized at the end of the review meeting, and a review issues list is produced. In addition, a formal technical review summary report is completed.

Review Guidelines

  • Guidelines for conducting formal technical reviews must be established in advance, distributed to all reviewers, agreed upon, and then followed
  • A review that is un-controlled can often be worse than no review at all
  • Review the product, not the producer
  • Set an agenda and maintain it
  • Limit debate and denial: 
  • Speak problem areas, but don’t attempt to solve every problem noted
  • Take written notes
  • Limit the number of participants and insist upon advance preparation
  • Develop a checklist for each product that is likely to be reviewed
  • Allocate resources and schedule time for FTRs 
  • Conduct meaningful training for all reviewers
  • Review your early reviews

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