Saturday, March 10, 2007

Is a Peer Review Report with no defects reported valid evidence for a SCAMPI A Apprasal?

Dear Appraiser,

A Peer Review Report that shows no defects reported -is that valid evidence for an instance in a SCAMPI A appraisal?

Hmmmm. If a tree falls in the forest and . . . .

As far as I can tell, there is nothing in the CMMI model that requires you to actually have defects found during a peer review . . . let me check on that again . . . right, not required.

While it might be unlikely, there are smart developers out there that either 1) don't demonstrate a defect during a peer review or 2:) are really good at hiding them.

Of course, a blank piece of paper would be insufficient.

VER guides us to 1:) prepare for the peer review; 2:) conduct the peer review; and 3:) Analyze Peer Review Data. Nowhere in the VER PA does it say "create defects where they don't exist."

The required evidence would prove that the peer review was prepared for, conducted, and its resulting data analyzed. That's not the same as saying that your peer review was sufficient, but the SCAMPI method is "evidence based" and if you produce the appropriate evidence, we trust that you had the peer review and you conducted it with integrity.

Prepare for Peer Review includes things such as: inviting stakeholders, defining roles, distributing peer review material, guidelines, agenda, etc.

Conduct Peer Review includes things such as: having an agenda, ensuring the appropriate people are present, walking through the material in a structured way, taking minutes, following the roles and guidelines, etc.

Analyze Peer Review data includes such things as reviewing the defects, estimating the impact, evaluating the effort to correct the defects, etc.

If you're dong these things and you can provide evidence of performance then you're probably performing VER appropriately.


Anonymous said...

You said that CMMI is an "evidence based". Does it mean that any review performed should be evidenced?
Because sometimes it is a lot more easier and faster to perform the review online --> face to face. In this case, it would be a waste to produce a review report just for an evidence.
So, if let's say we just put remark in the change history as evidence that the review has already been performed .. would that be enough?
But again, when there is no defect, there will be no remark on the change history.

Jeff Dalton said...

Evidence doesn't need to take the form of a paper document and online or face to face peer reviews can all be "evidenced" in multiple ways.

For instance, if the code review is done online why can't comments and defects be "notes" written in the code comments? This way we have a running record of the changes that were made to the code. The same with your suggestion - a remark in the change history COULD also be sufficient.

And even if there is no defect, why couldn't the same mechanism be used to mark that "I was here to review the code?"

Don't get hung up on the medium - paper is only one option - there are many others.


Anonymous said...

oouww .. if it is really that flexible ... then it would be much help. Thank you Jeff.