The purpose of a review is to identify defects and issues in a work product through a process of formal and structured review by a group of peers. Reviews are cost-effective and can be applied even to work products that cannot be executed. Reviews are an important technique for improving both quality and productivity as well as for providing visibility into the state of the project.
Following are some of the lessons learned from reviews at Infosys:
Include external experts in the review team to augment the talent of the project team.
Use a well-defined and structured review process with clear guidelines and formal data collection. The process should include planning, self-review, and a group meeting.
During the review, focus exclusively on finding defects and issues. Defects and issues are resolved later.
When it is more practical, use a one-person review for work products. For the one-person review, follow the same process and data collection guidelines as for group reviews.
Monitor each review for effectiveness. Create performance expectations from past data, and use them to evaluate a review's effectiveness.
If a review's performance is not as expected, analyze the causes and take corrective and preventive actions.
To understand the impact of reviews, conduct simple experiments within the project. Data from within their own organization convinces people in ways that no amount of outside data can.
With respect to the CMM, the review practices described here satisfy the Peer Review KPA at level 3. The monitoring and control method satisfies some requirements of the Quantitative Project Management and the Software Quality Management KPAs of level 4. Reviewing of various work products satisfies the review requirements of many KPAs.