Purpose:

Establishes organizational expectations for establishing and maintaining verification methods, procedures, criteria, and the verification environment, as well as for performing peer reviews and verifying selected work products.

Objective:

Ensure that selected work products meet their specified requirements.

Description:

The Verification process involves the following: verification preparation, verification performance, and identification of corrective action.

Verification includes verification of the product and intermediate work products against all selected requirements, including customer, product, and product component requirements. For product lines, core assets and their associated product line variation mechanisms should also be verified. Throughout the Verification process, where the terms “product” and “product component” are used, their intended meanings also encompass services, service systems, and their components.

Verification is inherently an incremental process because it occurs throughout the development of the product and work products, beginning with verification of requirements, progressing through the verification of evolving work products, and culminating in the verification of the completed product.

The specific practices of the Verification process build on each other in the following way:

    • The Select Work Products for Verification specific practice enables the identification of work products to be verified, methods to be used to perform the verification, and the requirements to be satisfied by each selected work product.
    • The Establish the Verification Environment specific practice enables the determination of the environment to be used to carry out the verification.
    • The Establish Verification Procedures and Criteria specific practice enables the development of verification procedures and criteria that are aligned with selected work products, requirements, methods, and characteristics of the verification environment.
    • The Perform Verification specific practice conducts the verification according to available methods, procedures, and criteria.

Verification of work products substantially increases the likelihood that the product will meet the customer, product, and product component requirements.

The Verification and Validation process are similar, but they address different issues. Validation demonstrates that the product, as provided (or as it will be provided), will fulfill its intended use, whereas verification addresses whether the work product properly reflects the specified requirements. In other words, verification ensures that “you built it right”; whereas, validation ensures that “you built the right thing.”

Peer reviews are an important part of verification and are a proven mechanism for effective defect removal. An important corollary is to develop a better understanding of the work products and the processes that produced them so that defects can be prevented and process improvement opportunities can be identified.

Peer reviews involve a methodical examination of work products by the producers’ peers to identify defects and other changes that are needed.

Examples of peer review methods include the following:

    • Inspections
    • Structured walkthroughs
    • Deliberate refactoring
    • Pair programming

In Agile environments, because of customer involvement and frequent releases, verification and validation mutually support each other. For example, a defect can cause a prototype or early release to fail validation prematurely. Conversely, early and continuous validation helps ensure verification is applied to the right product. The Verification and Validation process help ensure a systematic approach to selecting the work products to be reviewed and tested, the methods and environments to be used, and the interfaces to be managed, which help ensure that defects are identified and addressed early. The more complex the product, the more systematic the approach needs to be to ensure compatibility among requirements and solutions, and consistency with how the product will be used.

Entrance Criteria:

  • Test Management Tools
  • Test Case Generators
  • Test Coverage Analyzers
  • Simulators

Exit Criteria:

  • Verification Procedures and Criteria
  • Peer Review Training Material
  • Peer Review Data
  • Verification Reports

Process and Procedures:

Tailoring Guidelines:

Organizations may choose to purchase a verification process and procedures rather than to develop them.  Using the Causal Analysis and Resolution process, they can tailor the process to fit their organization. 

Certain verification methods can require special tools, equipment, facilities, and training (e.g., peer reviews can require meeting rooms and trained moderators; certain verification tests can require special test equipment and people skilled in the use of the equipment).

Process Verification Record(s):

  • Peer review records that include conduct time and average preparation time
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  • Number of product defects found through verification per development
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  • Verification and analysis report
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Measure(s):

  • Verification profile (i.e. number of verification planned and performed, and the defects found; or defects categorized by verification method or type)
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  • Number of defects detected by defect category
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  • Verification problem report trends (i.e. number written, number closed)
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  • Verification problem reports status (i.e., how long each problem report has been open)
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  • Schedule for a specific verification activity
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  • Peer review effectivenes
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