Monday, December 19, 2011

Can Inspections Make Defect Prevention Effective?

“Yes”, says Capers Jones. Formal inspection of requirements, architecture, designs, source code, configuration files, build scripts and test cases enable project teams in finding critical defects.
The cost of defects (related to requirements or designs) found during later stages of lifecycle is enormous. The best way to deal with this issue is to detect defects at early stages. Inspection is a way to accomplish this.

Not all Agile teams do pair programming. What about designs? Or configuration files? Do we inspect? When inspection or reviews are not done, the result can be accumulation of technical debt. Right?

When we find defects through inspections and reviews, we get an opportunity to classify defects and identify the root causes. Remember 80/20 rule? When we do this we can reduce the number of defects in subsequent iterations.

Fagan inspection can be fine tuned to suit Agile projects. Instead of performing inspection in large groups, Agile teams can perform inspections or reviews in small groups of two to four team members depending on the criticality of such inspections or reviews. One or two hours per iteration spent on reviews and inspection in Agile projects can yield immense benefits.

Have we forgotten the value of inspections and reviews? Caper Jones’s article ‘Do You Inspect?’ is an eye opener for everyone. 

In the next blog "Inspections and Reviews in Agile Projects"  I have shared 5 pointers and additional questions.

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