Formal Technical Review
Formal Technical review is a software quality assurance activity performed by software engineer.
Objectives of FTR
- FTR is useful to uncover error in logic, function and implementation for any representation of the software.
- The purpose of FTR is to ensure that software meets specified requirements.
- It is also ensure that software is represented according to predefined standards.
- It helps to review the uniformity in software development process.
- 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
The review meeting
- Every review meeting should be conducted by considering the following constraints:
- Involvement of people: Between 3 and 5 people should be involved in the review.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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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