Guidelines for the Review Session
Guidelines for conducting of formal review sessions must be established in advance, distributed to all reviewers, agreed upon, and then followed. The following checklist represents a set of guidelines for formal technical reviews.
- The duration of the review meeting should be less than 2 hours.
If necessary, a new session is convened at the earliest the next day.
- The moderator may cancel or call off the review meeting in case
The reason for cancelling should be recorded.
- one or more reviewer did not occur or did not sufficiently prepare in advance
- for any reason the moderator is not able to successfully and efficiently conduct the review meeting.
- The manager of the software project may not interfere in the review meeting.
He should not participate in the review meeting or take the part of the recorder.
- Review the product, not the producer.
- The tone of the meeting should be loose and constructive.
- The moderator should conduct the meeting to ensure that the proper tone and attitude are maintained.
- The author may not defend himself or his product.
- Limit the number of participants.
Keep the number of people involved to a necessary minimum (a maximum of five reviewer).
- The moderator may not act as a reviewer at the same time.
- General style concerns (outside the guidelines) may not be discussed.
- Enunciate problem areas, but do not attempt to solve every problem noted.
A review is not a problem solving session. Problem solving should be postponed until after the review meeting.
- Every reviewer must have the possibility to adequately present his findings.
- Each agreement on a finding has to be recorded in such a way that every reviewer can see the notes.
- Findings may not be noted in the form of instructions for the author.
- Every single finding has to be weighted as
- crucial error (usability of the product impossible; it has to be corrected before release);
- main error (affects usability of the product; it should be corrected before release);
- besides error (hardly affects usability);
- good (without error).
- The author of the product must be passive during the review meeting.
He should only clear up misunderstandings or answer questions.
- At the end of the review, all attendees must decide whether to
- accept the product without further modification,
- accept the product provisionally (minor errors have been encountered and must be corrected, but no additional review will be required),
- reject the product due to severe errors (once corrected, another review must be performed).
- At the end of the review meeting, all attendees have to sign-off the protocol.
- At the end of the review meeting, the author must collect all marked copies of the product to be able to adopt the markings when reworking the product.