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Annex 1  
5.5 Category of Methods "Review" (REV)  

  REV - Review

Contents  
  • 5.5.1 Overview
  • 5.5.1.1 Appraisal Criteria
  • 5.5.1.2 Individual Methods
  • 5.5.1.3 Comparison of the individual Methods
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  • 5.5.2 Individual Descriptions
  • 5.5.2.1 Technical Review
  • 5.5.2.2 Operational Review
  • 5.5.2.3 Software Inspection
  • 5.5.2.4 Walkthrough
  • 5.5.1 Overview

    In the Methods Standard, method Review is specified to assess documents . An individual method is only selected within the scope of the operationalization of the Methods Standard. The selection is realized specifically for the individual objects to be assessed, i. e. different individual methods are applied for different objects to be assessed.

    5.5.1.1 Appraisal Criteria

    The following contains a list of criteria helping to select individual methods:

    5.5.1.2 Individual Methods

    The most known and applied methods for reviewing documents
    1. Software Inspection,
    2. Operational Review,
    3. Technical Review and
    4. Walkthrough

    are introduced in the following individual descriptions. In order to make it easier to distinguish between the individual methods these methods are first compared with each other.

    5.5.1.3 Comparison of the individual Methods

    The individual methods Software Inspection, Operational Review, Technical Review, and Walkthrough can be characterized as manual assessment methods. The objectives are very similar: ascertaining deviations between the object to be assessed and the specifications, standards, and procedures. In the same way, many common characteristics can be found out in the operational sequence.

    The individual methods can still be differentiated in important points. Table 5.5 illustrates the essential differences.

    While Software Inspection, Technical Review, and Walkthrough are applied for the assessment of documents, the Operational Review is applied (process related) for phase reviews (allocation within the scope of activity PM6 - Phase Review).

    Another important difference exists with regard to the role of the developer or respectively the person in charge. In a Technical Review, the developer as well as in the Operational Review, the persons in charge of the activities do not participate. In the Software Inspection, the developer has to be available to answer questions. In a Walkthrough, the developer presents the contents of the object to be assessed and answers question. Thus the role of the developer is most important in a Walkthrough. The developer has the possibility to influence the assessment up to a certain degree by, e. g., directing the focal point of his presentation to less critical parts of the object to be assessed. It is the job of the moderator to neutralize the possible influence of the developer on the course of the assessment.

    While planning and preparation are more or less similar in all methods, there are differences with regard to the implementation of the meeting.

    During the Technical Review meeting, the object to be assessed is neither read nor presented. In the Technical Review, the actual assessment is realized during the preparation phase. Thus the effort for the preparation of a Technical Review is greatest when compared to the effort required for other individual methods. The assessment criteria for a Technical Review are therefore also of the greatest possible importance. During the meeting, the notes related to the defined assessment criteria are discussed. Since the notes are already available in a written form prior to the review meeting it is the task of the moderator to see to it that only the most important notes are handled during the meeting.

    During the Operational Review meeting, prepared presentations can be made for the team members as required. However, individual documents will not be presented.

    During the Software Inspection meeting, the object to be assessed is presented line by line. Though during the preparation phase a product assessment is realized for the Software Inspection, the assessment is continued during the meeting.

    During the Walkthrough meeting, the object to be assessed is not gone through line by line but in a process-oriented way. The participants function as computers in order to simulate the processes in theory by means of several examples. Contrary to a test, not only the result itself but in particular the procedure of achieving the result is assessed in a Walkthrough. The examples stimulate discussions with the developer, thus the selection of examples is not decisive. Using assessment criteria is no stipulation, but it may be helpful.

    Technical Review Operational Review Software Inspection Walkthrough
    product-related product-related product-related product-related
    developer not involved person in charge not involved developer answers questions developer presents the object to be assessed and answers questions
    contents of the object to be assessed are not presented presentation for selected subjects if required contents of the object to be assessed are presented line by line contents of the object to be assessed are presented in a process-related way
    utilization of assessment criteria utilization of assessment criteria utilization of assessment criteria utilization of assessment criteria is no stipulation
    great effort during the preparation phase low effort during the preparation phase average effort during the preparation phase low effort during the preparation phase

    Table 5.5: REV: Differences between Individual Methods

    5.5.2 Individual Descriptions

    5.5.2.1 Technical Review
    5.5.2.2 Operational Review
    5.5.2.3 Software Inspection
    5.5.2.4 Walkthrough

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