Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Walkthrough & Inspection

Review is "A process or meeting during which artifacts of software product are examined by project stockholders, user representatives, or other interested parties for feedback or approval”. Software Review can be on Technical specifications, designs, source code, user documentation, support and maintenance documentation, test plans, test specifications, standards, and any other type of specific to work product, it can be conducted at any stage of the software development life cycle.
Purpose of conducting review is to minimize the defect ratio as early as possible in Software Development life cycle. As a general principle, the earlier a document is reviewed, the greater will be the impact of its defects on any downstream activities and their work products. Magnitude cost of defect fixing after the release of the product is around 60-100x. Review can be formal or informal. Informal reviews are referred as walkthrough and formal as Inspection.
Walkthrough: Method of conducting informal group/individual review is called walkthrough, in which a designer or programmer leads members of the development team and other interested parties through a software product, and the participants ask questions and make comments about possible errors, violation of development standards, and other problems or may suggest improvement on the article, walkthrough can be pre planned or can be conducted at need basis and generally people working on the work product are involved in the walkthrough process.
The Purpose of walkthrough is to:
· Find problems
· Discuss alternative solutions
· Focusing on demonstrating how work product meets all requirements.IEEE 1028 recommends three specialist roles in a walkthrough:
Leader: who conducts the walkthrough, handles administrative tasks, and ensures orderly conduct (and who is often the Author)
Recorder: who notes all anomalies (potential defects), decisions, and action items identified during the walkthrough meeting, normally generate minutes of meeting at the end of walkthrough session.
Author: who presents the software product in step-by-step manner at the walk-through meeting, and is probably responsible for completing most action items.
Walkthrough Process: Author describes the artifact to be reviewed to reviewers during the meeting. Reviewers present comments, possible defects, and improvement suggestions to the author. Recorder records all defect, suggestion during walkthrough meeting. Based on reviewer comments, author performs any necessary rework of the work product if required. Recorder prepares minutes of meeting and sends the relevant stakeholders and leader is normally to monitor overall walkthrough meeting activities as per the defined company process or responsibilities for conducting the reviews, generally performs monitoring activities, commitment against action items etc.
Inspection: An inspection is a formal, rigorous, in-depth group review designed to identify problems as close to their point of origin as possible., Inspection is a recognized industry best practice to improve the quality of a product and to improve productivity, Inspections is a formal review and generally need is predefined at the start of the product planning, The objectives of the inspection process are to
· Find problems at the earliest possible point in the software development process
· Verify that the work product meets its requirement
· Ensure that work product has been presented according to predefined standards
· Provide data on product quality and process effectiveness
· Inspection advantages are to build technical knowledge and skill among team members by reviewing the output of other people
· Increase the effectiveness of software testing.
IEEE 1028 recommends three following roles in an Inspection:
Inspector Leader: The inspection leader shall be responsible for administrative tasks pertaining to the inspection, shall be responsible for planning and preparation, shall ensure that the inspection is conducted in an orderly manner and meets its objectives, should be responsible for collecting inspection data
Recorder: The recorder should record inspection data required for process analysis. The inspection leader may be the recorder.
Reader: The reader shall lead the inspection team through the software product in a comprehensive and logical fashion, interpreting sections of the work product and highlighting important aspects
Author: The author shall be responsible for the software product meeting its inspection entry criteria, for contributing to the inspection based on special understanding of the software product, and for performing any rework required to make the software product meet its inspection exit criteria.
Inspector: Inspectors shall identify and describe anomalies in the software product. Inspectors shall be chosen to represent different viewpoints at the meeting (for example, sponsor, requirements, design, code, safety, test, independent test, project management, quality management, and hardware engineering). Only those viewpoints pertinent to the inspection of the product should be present. Some inspectors should be assigned specific review topics to ensure effective coverage. For example, one inspector may focus on conformance with a specific standard or standards, another on syntax, and another for overall coherence. These roles should be assigned by the inspection leader when planning the inspection.
All participants in the review are inspectors. The author shall not act as inspection leader and should not act as reader or recorder. Other roles may be shared among the team members. Individual participants may act in more than one role. Individuals holding management positions over any member of the inspection team shall not participate in the inspection
Inspection Process: Following are review phases:
· Planning
· Overview
· Preparation
· Examination meeting
· Inspection Leader perform following task in planning phase
· Determine which work products need to be inspected
· Determine if a work product that needs to be inspected is ready to be inspected
· Identify the inspection team
· Determine if an overview meeting is needed.
The moderator ensures that all inspection team members have had inspection process training. The moderator obtains a commitment from each team member to participate. This commitment means the person agrees to spend the time required to perform his or her assigned role on the team. Identify the review materials required for the inspection, and distribute materials to relevant stake holders
Overview: Purpose of the overview meeting is to educate inspectors; meeting is lead by Inspector lead and is presented by author, overview is presented for the inspection, this meeting normally acts as optional meeting, purpose to sync the entire participant and the area to be inspected.
Preparation: Objective of the preparation phase is to prepare for the inspection meeting by critically reviewing the review materials and the work product, participant drill down on the document distributed by the lead inspector and identify the defect before the meeting
Examination meeting: The objective of the inspection meeting is to identify final defect list in the work product being inspected, based on the initial list of defects prepared by the inspectors [identified at preparation phase and the new one found during the inspection meeting. The Lead Auditor opens the meeting and describes the review objectives and area to be inspected. Identify that all participants are well familiar with the content material, Reader reads the meeting material and inspector finds out any inconsistence, possible defects, and improvement suggestions to the author. Recorder records all the discussion during the inspection meeting, and mark actions against the relevant stake holders. Lead Inspector may take decision that if there is need of follow up meeting. Author updates the relevant document if required on the basis of the inspection meeting discussion
Rework and Follow-up: Objective is to ensure that corrective action has been taken to correct problems found during an inspection.


  1. There are two principles in QA. The first is the "Fit for purpose," and this confers that the product is suitable for the desired purpose. The second is "Right first time," in which the errors are eliminated....Quality Assurance Inspection Software

  2. Thanks for sharing a detailed post about maintaining quality of a software through inspection. I really admire you because I am now into doing a quality control inspection software.

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