Formal Review in Software Testing

Formal reviews follow a formal process. It is well structured and regulated testing approach. A formal review process consists below-mentioned steps:


  1. Planning

  2. Kick-off

  3. Preparation

  4. Review meeting

  5. ReworkFollow-up


1. Planning :

Planning is the first phase of the formal review. Here, the review process begins with a request for review by the author to the moderator. Informal reviews, the moderator performs the entry check and also defines the formal exit criteria. After doing the entry check if the document is found to have very little defects then it’s ready to go for the reviews. So, the entry criteria are to check that whether the document is ready to enter the formal review process or not. Hence, the entry criteria for any document to go for the reviews are:


  • Documents to be reviewed should be with line numbers.

  • Documents should be cleaned up by running any automated checks that apply.

  • The author should feel confident about the quality of the document so that he can join the review team with that document.

Once, the document clears the entry to check the moderator and author decide that which part of the document is to be reviewed.


2. Kick-off :

The goal of kick-off is to give a short introduction on the objectives of the review and the documents. In kick-off relationships between the document under review and the other documents are also explained, especially if the numbers of related documents are high.


3. Preparation :

In preparation, the reviewers review the document individually using the related documents, procedures, rules and checklists provided.


4. Review Meeting :

Review meeting typically consists of the following elements :

  • Logging Phase

  • Discussion Phase

  • Decision Phase


During the logging phase the issues, that have been identified during the preparation are mentioned page by page, reviewed by a reviewer and are logged either by the author or by a scribe.

If any issue needs discussion then the item is logged and then handled in the discussion phase.


At the end of the meeting a decision on the document under review has to be made by the participants, sometimes based on formal exit criteria. Exit criteria are the average number of critical and/or major defects found per page.


5. Rework :

Based on the defects detected the author will improve the document under review step by step. Not every defect that is found leads to rework. It is the author’s responsibility to judge if a defect has to be fixed.


6. Follow-Up :

In this step, the moderator checks to make sure that the author has taken action on all known defects. If it is decided that all participants will check the updated documents then the moderator takes care of the distribution and collects the feedback. It is the responsibility of the moderator to ensure that the information is correct and stored for future analysis.


1 Comment
  1. pranali 11:43 AM / September 14, 2017 - Reply

    It is very interesting and useful information. thanks for providing the useful article.

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