Formal Technical Reviews | 5 Objectives and Steps summarized

Formal Technical Review

Formal Technical review is a software quality assurance activity performed by software engineer.

Objectives of FTR

  1. FTR is useful to uncover error in logic, function and implementation for any representation of the software.
  2. The purpose of FTR is to ensure that software meets specified requirements.
  3. It is also ensure that software is represented according to predefined standards.
  4. It helps to review the uniformity in software development process.
  5. It makes the project more manageable.
  • Besides the above mentioned objectives, the purpose of FTR is to enable junior engineer to observer the analysis, design, coding and testing approach more closely.
  • Each FTR is conducted as meeting and is considered successfully only if it is properly planned, controlled and attended.

Steps in FTR

  1. The review meeting

  • Every review meeting should be conducted by considering the following constraints:
  1. Involvement of people: Between 3 and 5 people should be involved in the review.
  2. Advance preparation: Advance preparation should occur but it should be very short that is at the most 2 hours of work for each person can be spent in this preparation.
  3. Short duration: The short duration of the review meeting should be less than two hour.
  • Rather than attempting to review the entire design walkthrough are conducted for modules or for small group of modules.
  • The focus of the FTR is on work product (a software component to be reviewed). The review meeting is attended by the review leader, all reviewers and the producer.
  • The review leader is responsible for evaluating for product for its deadlines.
  • The copies of product material are then distributed to reviewers. -The producer organizes “walkthrough” the product, explaining the material, while the reviewers raise the issues based on theirs advance preparation.
  • One of the reviewers become recorder who records all the important issues raised during the review. When error are discovered, the recorder notes each.
  • At the end of the review, the attendees decide whether to accept the product or not, with or without modification.
  1. Review reporting and record keeping

  • During the FTR, the reviewer actively records all the issues that have been raised.
  • At the end of meeting these all raised issues are consolidated and review issue list is prepared.
  • Finally, formal technical review summary report is produced.
  1. Review guidelines

  • Guidelines for the conducting of formal technical review must be established in advance.
  • These guidelines must be distributed to all reviewers, agreed upon, and then followed.

For example, Guideline for review may include following things

  • Concentrate on work product only. That means review the product not the producers.
  • Set an agenda of a review and maintain it.
  • When certain issues are raised then debate or arguments should be limited. Reviews should not ultimately results in some hard feelings.
  • Find out problem areas, but don’t attempt to solve every problem noted.
  • Take written notes (it is for record purpose)
  • Limit the number of participants and insists upon advance preparation.
  • Develop a checklist for each product that is likely to be reviewed.
  • Allocate resources and time schedule for FTRs in order to maintain time schedule.
  • Conduct meaningful trainings for all reviewers in order to make reviews effective.
  • Reviews earlier reviews which serve as the base for the current review being conducted.


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A Soon-to-be Computer Engineer by profession, he has profound devotion to add Data Scientist as a prefix to his name. He’s been to the nooks of the web (at least of the surface web) and planning to add some real figures in his pocket!

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