Perform peer reviews on selected service system components.
Peer reviews involve a methodical examination of service system components by the producers’ peers to identify defects for removal and to recommend changes.
A peer review is an important and effective verification method implemented via inspections, structured walkthroughs, or a number of other collegial review methods.
Example Work Products
- Peer review schedule
- Peer review checklist
- Entry and exit criteria for service system components and work products
- Criteria for requiring another peer review
- Peer review training material
- Service system components selected for peer review
- Peer review results, including issues and action items
- Peer review data
1. Determine what type of peer review will be conducted.
- Structured walkthroughs
- Active reviews
2. Establish and maintain peer review procedures and criteria for the selected service system components and work products.
3. Define requirements for the peer review.
Peer reviews should address the following guidelines:
- The preparation should be sufficient.
- The conduct should be managed and controlled.
- Consistent and sufficient data should be recorded.
- Action items should be recorded.
- Data collection
- Entry and exit criteria
- Criteria for requiring another peer review
4. Establish and maintain checklists to ensure that service system components and work products are reviewed consistently.
- Rules of construction
- Design guidelines
- Common defect type
Checklists are modified as necessary to address the specific type of work product and peer review. Peers of checklist developers and potential end-users review the checklists.
5. Develop a detailed peer review schedule, including dates for peer review training and for when materials for peer reviews will be available.
6. Prepare for the peer review.
- Identifying the staff who will be invited to participate in the peer review of each service system component or work product
- Identifying the key reviewers who must participate in the peer review
- Preparing and updating the materials to be used during the peer reviews, such as checklists and review criteria
7. Ensure that the service system component or work product satisfies the peer review entry criteria and make the component or work product available for review to participants early enough to enable them to adequately prepare for the peer review.
8. Assign roles for the peer review as appropriate.
9. Conduct peer reviews on selected service system components and work products, and identify issues resulting from the peer review.
One purpose of conducting a peer review is to find and remove defects early. Peer reviews are performed incrementally as service system components and work products are being developed.
Peer reviews can be performed on key work products of specification, design, test, and implementation activities and specific planning work products. Peer reviews can be performed on staffing plans, competency descriptions, organizational structure, and other people oriented aspects of a service system. However, they should be used to review individual performance and competency with caution, and should be employed only in coordination with other methods of individual evaluation that the organization already has in place.
When issues arise during a peer review, they should be communicated to the primary developer or manager of the service system component or work product for correction.
10. Conduct an additional peer review if the defined criteria indicate the need.
11. Ensure that exit criteria for the peer review are satisfied.
12. Record and store data related to the preparation, conduct, and results of the peer reviews.
Typical data are service system component or work product name, composition of the peer review team, type of peer review, preparation time per reviewer, length of the review meeting, number of defects found, type and origin of defect, and so on. Additional information on the service system component or work product being peer reviewed can be collected.
Protect the data to ensure that peer review data are not used inappropriately. The purpose of peer reviews is to verify proper development and identify defects to ensure greater quality, not to provide reasons for disciplining staff or publicly criticizing performance. Failure to protect peer review data properly can ultimately compromise the effectiveness of peer reviews by leading participants to be less than fully candid about their evaluations.
13. Analyze peer review data.
- Actual preparation time or rate versus expected time or rate
- Actual number of defects versus expected number of defects
- Types of defects detected
- Causes of defects
- Defect resolution impact