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Systematic Improvement of Technical Reviews in Large-Scale Systems Development

: Laitenberger, O.; Leszak, M.; Brunck, W.; Stoll, D.

Lawford, M.:
1st Workshop on Inspection in Software Engineering, WISE '01. Proceedings
Hamilton: Software Quality Research Lab, 2001
S.115-126 : Ill., Lit.
Workshop on Inspection in Software Engineering (WISE) <1, 2001, Paris>
Fraunhofer IESE ()
technical review; review process; improvement effort

Technical reviews are a cost-effective method commonly used for the early detection of product defects. To exploit their full potential, it is necessary to constantly monitor and improve the implemented review procedure. This paper describes a systematic improvement effort to amplify and leverage the benefits of reviews at Lucent Technologies Optical Networking Group (ONG) at Nuremberg, Germany. The motivation for the effort stems from root cause analysis results. These results reveal that defects detected in later development phases could have been found earlier by reviews. The improvement effort involved a sequence of four steps. In the first step, review data was analyzed, the current review process was observed, review participants were interviewed, and the existing review documentation was scrutinized. In a second step improvement suggestions were derived based on the collected information and incorporated in the existing approach. The third step involved the training of the participants in the revised approach. The final step consisted of the application of the revised approach in projects at Lucent/ONG.In essence, the improvement effort provides key insights in the challenges of today's reviews. It questions existing meeting-based review processes and suggests a non-meeting based alternative. In fact, this is one of the very few efforts that implemented non-meeting based reviews in industrial projects.