Software development projects carry out software reviews to ensure quality and to check the progress of the development process. However, as the scale of the system increases and the number of team partners increases, the burden of review increases, therefore. Especially in the short-term development strategy, streamlining software reviews is essential to allow sufficient time for development and testing.
Therefore, this time, we will introduce the points to be suppressed and the method of efficiency improvement to reduce the time and effort required for software review.
What is software review?
A software review is a procedure in which connected parties such as managers, colleagues, and experts ensure the deliverables created by the developer in the development process, and check, approve, and point out problems from the viewpoint of technical aspects and quality. Software reviews that take place in many development processes can be divided into “management reviews” and “deliverable reviews.”
・ Management review: Efforts to be carried out as part of the management of the development process that occurs under internal control and contracts with clients.
Deliverable Review: Quality improvement efforts to find defects and improvements during development early in the development process
In addition, there are various formats depending on the purpose of the review, such as reviews for educational purposes of newcomers, reviews for accumulating and sharing know-how, and reviews for evaluating and deciding the technology to be adopted. In addition, some reviews are performed according to regulations set within the company or the team, while others are executed informally as a grassroots endeavor.
Need for software review
Depending on the case, software reviews are primarily aimed at quality improvement and internal control. If the contract with the client requires it, it is unavoidable to review it as prescribed. So how useful are software studies aimed at improving quality?
Software testing is a common way to improve quality. However, software defects and defects can be fixed at a lower repair cost if they are detected early in the process, so it is ideal to fix them before moving to the testing process or during development.
With the eyes of non-developers and testers, you can prevent highly personal mistakes in coding and test design. At the development site, the mobility of human resources is high, and the experience values of members vary, so if you can share the know-how and experience values of the team through reviews, it will lead to an improvement in training speed.
In this way, software review can be said to be a method that, if properly implemented, can greatly contribute to cost reduction and quality improvement related to quality assurance.
Software reviews are time-consuming and time-consuming
Software reviews have the advantage of contributing to quality improvement, but they also have the disadvantage of taking time and effort.
Schedule adjustment of related parties
Scheduling review participants can be very burdensome. Especially when involving managers and development managers in reviews for internal control. To reduce the cost of holding a review meeting, it is necessary to carefully consider the content of the meeting and how to use the time.
Recognizing discrepancies in review objectives
Incorporating reviews is a good initiative, but sometimes the purpose of a review is not properly set and shared. In this case, the participants do not know what kind of explanation or point to give, and the time and the number of implementations will increase.
Conducting inefficient informal reviews
Some developers will do informal reviews on their own. However, if the participants are not aware of what kind of content they will review, it may be just a chat and the expected effect may not be obtained.
How to streamline software reviews
As I mentioned earlier, software reviews are laborious and time-consuming, which is a headache. There are two ways to streamline software reviews: streamline defect detection and streamline defect indication.
 Improving the efficiency of defect detection
Defect detection refers to finding software problems and risks through reviews. One of the things you can do about defect detection is to determine the purpose and role of each review and to perform a wide range of checks without duplication as much as possible.
In the development process, reviews are usually conducted multiple times with different participants, scales, and implementation phases. By setting the position and purpose of each review first, it is possible to eliminate duplication of confirmation contents and points between reviewers. If you set the purpose of the review according to the development phase and divide the roles specialized in the reviewer’s specialized field and experience, you can expect a significant improvement in the defect detection rate.
It is also effective to devise a detection scenario.
A detection scenario describes what and how to check in a review. For example, the development site may share confirmation items like documents or internal rules to detect possible problems when making new developments or making normal corrections. It can be said that this is a detection scenario.
To create an efficient detection scenario, it is effective to omit the method of investigating the range of influence of the correction, the flow itself to be confirmed, or the part to be confirmed in the detection scenario.
For example, even if the detection scenario stipulates that “normal system performance is verified during new development” if the usage scene of the function to be modified is extremely limited, there may not be much merit in detecting performance deficiencies. There is sex. In such cases, you may have the option of not covering performance in testing or software reviews.
However, you should avoid making decisions such as omitting the detection scenario because it is cumbersome. Make decisions based on “priority considering merits and costs”.
 Improving the efficiency of pointing out defects
Defect indication refers to a reviewer pointing out a problem or question during a review meeting. Unlike defect detection, it is a concept that focuses on the format and procedure of the review.
First of all, to make effective use of the review time, there are preliminary reviews by email, chat, and material sharing. You can do the entire review text-based, or you can pre-distribute the material to reduce the time it takes to explain and share. As with regular meetings, scrutinizing what the review meeting should do is a top priority.
It is also effective to unify the format of the explanatory materials. It’s easy for each person to know which part to read to comprehend the content, and there is no need to point out anything unrelated to the review meeting. The ease of preparation of the reviewer’s documents to be reviewed is also necessary, but ideally, the review materials should be unified in a form that is most easily shared with the participants.
At the review site, reviewers and reviewers, as well as reviewers, are required to work together to detect problems, share them among participants, and present solutions. If software reviews are all about searching for each other and exchanging opinions that do not lead to a solution, they will not solve the underlying problem. Discuss solutions along with problems and incorporate the opinions of experts to ensure constructive reviews.
This time, I introduced the necessity and efficiency of software review. Generally, software review is carried out as an effort of “internal control” and “quality improvement”, but it is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process for both reviewers and reviewers. However, by setting the purpose of the review appropriately and narrowing down the roles of the participants and the topics to be discussed according to the priority, the efficiency of the review can be expected.
Please devise a development process that maximizes the benefits of software review by making effective use of the limited man-hours and development period.
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