Software Review | Phases and Types of Reviews

 Software Review

A software review is a process or meeting during which a software product is examined by a project personnel, managers, users, customers, user representatives, or other interested parties for comment or approval.

  • A group of people carefully examine part or all of a software system and its associated documentation.
  • Code, designs, specifications, test plans, standards, etc. can all be reviewed.
  • Software or documents may be ‘signed off’ at a review which signifies that progress to the next development stage has been approved by management.

Phases in the Software Review process

  • Pre-review activities:

    Pre-review activities are concerned with review planning and review preparation.

  • The review meeting:

    During the review meeting, an author of the document or program being reviewed should ‘walk through’ the document with the review team.

  • Post-review activities:

    These address the problems and issues that have been raised during the review review






Fig: The software review process

The main Software Review types are mentioned below:

  1. Walkthrough

  • It is not a formal process.
  • It is led by the authors.
  • Author guide the participants through the document according to his or her thought process to achieve a common understanding and to gather feedback.
  • Useful for the people if they are not from the software discipline, who are not used to or cannot easily understand software development process.
  • Is especially useful for higher level documents like requirement specification, etc.


The goals of walkthrough:

  • To present the documents both within and outside the software discipline in order to gather the information regarding the topic under documentation.
  • To explain or do the knowledge transfer and evaluate the contents of the document.
  • To achieve a common understanding and to gather feedback.
  • To examine and discuss the validity of the proposed solutions.

  1. Technical review

  • It is less formal review.
  • It is led by the trained moderator but can also be led by a technical expert.
  • It is often performed as a peer review without management
  • Defects are found by the experts (such as architects, designers, key users) who focus on the content of the document.
  • In practice, technical reviews vary from quite informal to very formal.


The goals of technical review:

  • To ensure that an early stage the technical concepts are used correctly.
  • To access the value of technical concepts and alternatives in the product.
  • To have consistency in the use and representation of technical concepts.
  • To inform participants about the technical content of the document.

  1. Inspection

  • It is the most formal review type.
  • It is led by the trained moderators.
  • During inspection the documents are prepared and checked thoroughly by the reviewers before the meeting.
  • It involves peers to examine the product.
  • A separate preparation is carried out during which the product is examined and the defects are found.
  • The defects found are documented in a logging list or issue log.
  • A formal follow-up is carried out by the moderator applying exit criteria.


The goals of inspection:

  • It helps the author to improve the quality of the document under inspection.
  • It removes defects efficiently and as early as possible.
  • It improves product quality.
  • It creates common understanding by exchanging information.
  • It learn from defects found and prevent the occurrence of similar defects.

I recommend you to check best Differences between Inspections and Walk-through.

Hope this helps 🙂


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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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