Most delivery methodologies recommend conducting reviews of key deliverables at specific points in time on the project. Conducting these reviews is an effective way to ensure the quality of project deliverables. There are two types of deliverable reviews that should be added to the project plan and resourced.
- Peer reviews. Peer reviews involve having a ‘peer’ of a team member who is working on the team review their deliverables before completion or going for signoff. Examples of this include developers performing code reviews of other developers or a Business Analyst reviewing a peer’s requirement documentation before going for business signoff. It is always helpful to get a fresh perspective on one’s work, especially from someone who is familiar with the project. Peer reviews should be informal in nature.
- External reviews. For critical deliverables a Project Manager might want a review from someone who is ‘external’ to the project. This usually involves brining in an expert in a specific domain area. Examples of project deliverables that should have external reviews include:
- Project Estimates (Project Manager)
- Project Management Approach (Project Manager)
- Requirements Strategy (Business Analyst)
- Technical Design (Architect)
- Testing Strategy (Quality Assurance)
In my experience, having these reviews has the single biggest impact on deliverable quality than any other activity, and they really don’t require a lot of time.