Posted by tac_admin, April 17, 2013

Review Session Essentials

ReviewReviews are formal, structured, working sessions, and considered to be the “human-based testing” phase of the project. During these sessions, participants are asked questions and encouraged to make suggestions in order to help the project team improve the quality of the product being reviewed.

Any deliverable of the project can be discussed in a formal review. The more products that are reviewed, the better quality the resulting solution will be. Some examples of the types of reviews conducted are:

Business requirements

Design specifications
Program walkthroughs
Test plan/test case reviews
Implementation plan
Post implementation review

The Benefits of Reviews

Review sessions are very beneficial for finding missing requirements, clarifying textual descriptions, and correcting inaccurate representations.

Review sessions identify quality improvements, find defects and prevent future defects of the same type, and can be used to educate team members on the other parts of the project.

Key Players

One of the critical success factors for conducting a review is including the appropriate participants. These include:

  • Author: the creator/writer of the product being reviewed.
  • Recorder: the person who will make detailed notes about changes to be made to the product after the session.
  • Facilitator: the person who conducts/moderates the session.
  • Peers: people who do the same job as the author and can critically review the product and make quality suggestions.
  • Reader (optional): a person leads the discussion by reading through the product and asking participants for their comments on each section.
  • Additional reviewers: any people who have specific expertise to review the product or special interest (e.g. users or marketing).

Additional considerations:

  • The Business Sponsor should attend all reviews.
  • Participants in the walk-through should represent a wide range of viewpoints.
  • Managers should not attend reviews because their presence changes the  behavior of the author and the reviewers.

Review Steps

A successful review requires structure in order to glean useful information from participants. Follow these steps to ensure your formal review goes as smoothly as possible and yields the desired results:

  • Schedule time of participants.
  • Deliver review materials.
  • Review materials prior to session.
  • Conduct review session.
  • Record review notes.
  • Update the material.
  • Conduct second review if necessary.

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