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Methodologies of Software Technical Reviews-STRs

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Methodologies of Software Technical Reviews-STRs

Mainly there are following three approaches to Software Technical Reviews or STR's

1) Walk through (or presentation reviews)

2) Inspection (or work product reviews)

3) Audits

1) Walkthroughs (or Presentation Reviews):
The first approach to be described is "walkthroughs". Walkthroughs are well defined by Yourdon. Walkthroughs can be viewed as presentation reviews in which a review participant, usually the developer of the software being reviewed, narrates a description of the software and the remainder of the review group provides their feedback throughout the presentation.

They are also known as the presentation reviews because the bulk of the feedback usually only occurs for the material actually presented at the level it is presented. Thus, advance preparation on the

part of reviewers is often not detectable during a walkthrough. Walkthroughs suffer from these limitations as well as the fact that they may lead to disorganized and uncontrolled reviews.

Walkthroughs may also be stressful if the developer of the software is conducting the walkthrough. This has lead to many variations such as having someone other than the developer perform the walkthrough. It is also possible to combine multiple reviews into a single review such as a combined design and code walkthrough.

2) Inspections (or Walk Product Reviews):
It is a formal approach. Inspections were first performed by Fagan at IBM. They require a high degree of preparation for the review participants but the benefits include a more systematic review of the software and a more controlled and less stressed meeting.

There are many variations of inspections, but all include some form of a checklist or agenda that guides the preparation of review participants and serves to organize the review meeting itself. Inspections are also characterized by rigorous entry and exit requirements for the work products being inspected.

Another important point to be noted is that an inspection process involves the collections of data that can be used to feedback on the quality of the development and review processes as well as influence future validation techniques on the software itself.

3) Audits:
Audits should also be described as an external type of review process. Audits serve to insure that the software is properly validated and that the process is producing its intended results.

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