Guidelines for Review Planning and Preparation
- Allocate resources and time schedule for reviews.
For reviews to be effective, they should be scheduled as tasks during the software engineering process. You should plan for up to 20 % of the effort spent on creating the documents to be reviewed.
In addition, time should be scheduled for the possible modifications that will occur as the result of a review. You should plan for up to 10 % of the effort spent on creating the documents to be reviewed (in case of one rework).
- Conduct meaningful training for all reviewers.
The training should stress both process-related issues and the human psychological side of reviews.
- Choose a moderator for the review session.
- The moderator must have the analytic expertise to be able to follow the review discussions.
- The moderator should not directly be involved in the project.
- Determine the aspects for which the result should be surveyed by the review team.
The aspects conform to
You should choose those aspects which conceal the highest risks!
- experiences from past products,
- the previous progression of the software project and
- the presumed strength and weakness of the author.
- The reviewers should be selected depending on the chosen aspects.
If the required reviewers are not available in your project you should ask for experts in other projects.
- Each aspect should be reviewed by at least two qualified reviewers.
- Each reviewer may examine more than one aspect.
- Human aspects should also be considered when assembling the review team.
- Develop a checklist for each product that is likely to be reviewed.
A checklist helps the moderator to structure the review meeting and helps each reviewer to focus on important issues. A set of representative review checklists is presented in the following documents.
- After the product to be reviewed is available, the producer has to inform the project manager.
- The manager must decide (maybe in cooperation with the moderator) whether the result is worth to be reviewed.
- After this, the moderator should initialize the review process. He must provide the reviewers with all necessary information:
The product should be supplied together with the invitation, the additional documents should be referenced uniquely.
- the product to be reviewed
- reference documents, e.g. documents the result is based on and guidelines that had to be respected
- checklists to be answered when reviewing the product
- Plan for a presentation of the product and its application domain and/or an introduction into the importance and purpose of technical reviews
The presentation should take between half an hour and one hour.
- in case the reviewers are not very familiar with the peripherie of the product or
- they have only little experience in technical reviews.
- The moderator must make sure that all reviewers are in possession of all required information.
- The moderator must ask the reviewers if the time given for preparation is sufficient.
- If there is no choice for thorough preparation, the moderator has to cancel the review process.
- All reviewers have to examine the product according to the allocated aspects.
- Each finding may either be
- marked in the document (in case of slightly errors) or
- formulated to be presented in the review session (in case of weightily errors).
- The author may not modify the product during the review preparation.