Tuesday 22 January 2019
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Important Steps to a Successful Validation and Verification Strategy

Important Steps to a Successful Validation and Verification Strategy

There are many reasons why Validation and Verification (V&V) should be integrated into your Software Product Engineering Plan.  There are a few important steps to creating the best Validation and Verification Strategy, it takes a bit of planning and expertise to make the process go smoothly.

What’s the Difference and Why It is Important to Understand It?

What is Verification?  It is the process for determining whether or not a product fulfills the requirements or specifications established for it. To do this your testing team needs to ask the question:  Are we building the right product?

What is Validation? It is a set of quality assurance checks to be conducted by the external users, owners, vendors on the product being delivered, the assessment of a planned or delivered system to meet the client’s operational need in the most realistic environment achievable. Validation is most often conducted at the production site.   Simple question to ask is: Are we building the product right?

It is a fundamental QA concept; therefore it is a building block to being QA-aware and focused.

A real-life example of Verification & Validation:  

Let’s say you go to a restaurant and order pecan pancakes, the waitstaff brings you the order, how can you verify that the food came to you the way your ordered?

To Verify you must first look at it and notice the following things:

  • Does the food on the plate look like it should? Do the pancakes look like pancakes?
  • Can you see nuts, do they appear to be pecans?
  • Does it smell good and right?

To Validate to ensure the product is the way it should be, you must actually eat the pancakes.

Ensuring your software is on the right track and can function as listed in the requirements, is what it’s all about. 

How do you go about ensuring you have Verified and Validated your software? 

There are a few important steps:  

  1. Make sure your team has a clear understanding of the requirements, design documents, data base table design, Entity Relationship diagrams, and traceability matrices. This is all done with static testing techniques.
  2. Start the Testing:
    1. Functional Testing
    2. Integration and Regression Testing
    3. Final Regression Testing
    4. Other Testing
  3. Software Engineering Processes and update

Verification and Validation activities will have these specific objectives:

  • Facilitates early detection and correction of errors.
  • Encourages and enhances the management intervention and looks inside into process and product risks.
  • Provides measures to support the software lifecycle process, to enhance compliance with schedule and budget requirements.

Phases to be completed to ensure you have a market-ready product

There are 5 Phases of the Validation Process, this approach is followed by most industries to ensure the software/application is ready for user consumption. This is completed mainly to verify the successful installation of the software followed by the functionality and operability.

  1. Design Qualification
  2. Installation Qualification is important to verify the installation of the software in the selected environments and its documentation.
  3. Operational Qualification is completed to verify that the software will function according to its operational specifications in the selected environment
  4. Performance Qualification is critical to verify that the software consistently performs to the specification for its routine day to day use.
  5. Maintenance Qualification

The overall purpose of conducting the Installation, Operational and Performance Qualifications is to ensure that the software can be successfully deployed and all the functionalities can be used without any bottlenecks.

These should be completed in a sequential manner.

There is V&V at every phase of development:

  1. Planning Phase:

  • Verification of contract
  • Evaluation of concept document
  • Performing risk analysis

  5. Test Phase:

  • Executing systems test cases
  • Acceptance test case execution
  • Traceability metrics updates
  • Risk analysis reporting

  2. Requirements Phase:

  • Evaluation of software requirements
  • Evaluation & analysis of the interfaces
  • Creation of systems test plan
  • Creation of acceptance test plan

  6. Installation and authentication Phase:

  • Installation and Config evaluation
  • Final testing of installation app build
  • Test report creation and analysis

  3. Design Phase:

  • Evaluation of software design
  • Evaluation & analysis of the UI interfaces
  • Creation of integration test plan
  • Creation of component test plan
  • Creation of test design

  7. Operation Phase:

  • New constraints analysis
  • Analysis and assessment of changes proposed

  4. Implementation Phase:

  • Full assessment of source code
  • Documents evaluation
  • Generation of test cases & procedure
  • Implementation of components test cases

  8. Maintenance Phase:

  • Anomaly analysis and evaluation
  • Migration assessment
  • Retrial feature assessment and analysis
  • Proposed changes assessment
  • Validation of all the production challenges.

V&V is the process to ensure your product is ready for the world

Finally, the way to keep your products ready for the world is ensure your testing team is conducting real-world V&V.  The verification and validation testing process is something that should be completed by testers or the developers that have the necessary knowledge of what the product should be doing.

V&V processes help to determine if products of a given functionality confirm to requirements and are fit for its use. In simpler terms, we just remember that Verification means the review activities or the static testing techniques and validation means the actual test execution activities or the dynamic testing techniques.

Tracy is responsible for the marketing of Telliant Systems. Always looking for ways to increase Telliant Systems' brand. She loves finding ways to show how software development can make our daily lives better and more productive.

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