Guideline for project deliverable review
Formal review is a structured approach which will be conducted by subject matter experts in absence of the author. The deliverables are examined for defects by individuals other than the person who produced it. Reviews help to uncover defects and to ensure product compliance to specifications, standards or regulations. There may be more than one reviewer in the formal review. Active and open participation of everyone in the review group, following traditions, customs, and written rules for review will be followed in this case. This review can be done either electronically, physically, and/or manually. The review comments needs to be fixed by the author.
In formal review, all participants will be fully responsible for the quality of the review and for the quality of the information in the written report. Formal reviews can be conducted during any point in the project lifecycle.
Formal offline reviews
In formal offline review, the deliverable will be reviewed in absence of the author. In this case, author gives the deliverable to the reviewer(s). Reviewer(s) review the deliverable and prepares review report. The author should send the deliverable that should be reviewed along with related items to the reviewer. This review can be done either electronically, physically, and/or manually. The review comments needs to be fixed by the author. Formal offline reviews can be conducted during any point in the project lifecycle.
One or more reviewers may conduct the informal review, but the review results will not be reported in any format. Informal review is done to make the product ready for formal reviews. Typically used for screen designs, small routines that may not require a formal inspection or a walkthrough. The review comments needs to be fixed by the author.
Walkthrough is a type of peer review in which developer (of design, code, or process) or author runs through the product or deliverable with stakeholders, who ask questions and make comments about possible defects, violation of standards, and any other problems or suggestions. This is applicable to any kind of engineering or process deliverable. Walkthrough is normally conducted by the author.
Walkthrough differs from formal reviews in its openness of structure and its objective of familiarization; i.e. it differs in its ability to suggest alternatives to the product reviewed; its lack of a direct focus on training and process improvement, and its omission of process and product measurement.
In walkthrough, the authors detail the review artifact and seek for comments from the stakeholders. This is to inform participants about the product or artifact rather than correct it. Walkthrough is carried out using the business scenarios or use cases or use case scenarios or requirements, but is less formal. Step-by-step manipulation of a procedure (or line by line in a code) is done here. One (desk walkthrough) or multiple reviewers (structured walkthroughs) may participate at the same time. No advance preparation is needed by the reviewers.
Below workflow needs to be followed for conducting formal reviews:
- Define the scope and objective of review
- Plan the logistics for review
- Preparation of specific checklist for review (if required)
- Ensure expert members are part of the identified reviewers
- Circulate the deliverable or product
- Consolidate the review comments
- Prepare review report
- Author needs to evaluate the review comments / defects identified and assign defects for the authoring team to fix (as required)
- Update the review report for the action(s) taken
- Submit the deliverable or product for a re-review after the team reworks based on the review comments (as required)
- Reviewer(s) check whether the follow up action has been taken by the team against all the review comments raised; and whether suitable remarks are given if the review comment or defect has not been fixed. On completing this, the reviewer(s) closes the review comment / defect in the report or tool.
- The artifact or product can be sent for approval on closure of all comments, and getting the go-ahead from the review team.