(With Daniel P. Freedman)

* ISBN: 0-932633-19-6 ©1990 464 pages hardcover

Dorset House Publishing

(translated into Portuguese, Chinese)

The new revision of this highly successful handbook provides information on the hows and whys of performing and documenting formal technical reviews of systems and procedures in an easy-to-follow, practical question-and-answer format.

“a basic reference for anyone engaged in system design and programming activities.”

-Journal of Systems Management

“Anyone needing, planning, or attending a review or the like should have consulted this handbook to get them on the right wavelength for really useful, productive evaluations.” —C.C. Dilloway, Computer Books Review

“My favorite book on this topic . . .” —J. Adrian Zimmer, Editor, Journal of Software Maintenance

Full of Meat

“When I started reading Walkthroughs, Inspections, and Technical Reviews: Evaluating Programs, Projects, and Products by Daniel P. Freedman and Gerald M. Weinberg, my intention was to summarize its key points. But alas, I have found this talk impossible because every page of this book is so full of meat that the summary would be almost as long as the book itself. The book is based on the authors’ extensive experience in conducting, facilitating, and observing reviews, and I’m not surprised the book has been reissued and reprinted so many times. . . .” —Naomi Karten, Managing End-User Computing

No one has significantly bettered the Freeman & Weinberg approach.

In a worthwhile way deals more with the why than the how.

Inspections are intrinsically boring. Freeman & Weinberg don’t say this. Inspections are like going to the dentist. They don’t say this either. No one really wants to have their work scrutinised by others, but this book puts the case very well that one should, and that one shouldn’t mind. It deals sensitively with the principles to employ when reviewing the work of others and being able to continue working with them afterwards. If the culture of your organisation opposes the notion of formal technical reviews in practice if not in principle, but its products contain defects, then this book makes a good starting point. The Gilb & Graham book on inspections is much longer and more substantive, but no one has significantly bettered the Freeman & Weinberg approach. [email protected] from London, England

Highly recommended.

Written in a lively question and answer style the book covers thoroughly the philosophy and practice of group based technical reviews. I found their discussion of the relationship between effective project management and reviews to be particularly important – they emphasis that because reviews produce evidence of actual completion of a product (rather than claimed completion) they are an essential tool for assessment of milestone completion.

The question and answer style leads to some repetition. However on the positive side the answers always get to the very core of each issue. Rather than presenting prescriptive rules they clearly explain the rationale behind each technique so one can understand the contribution each makes to the objective of achieving an effective review.

Word of caution with regard to terminology – they use the term “Inspection” to mean a review where one restricts one’s attention to a few selected topics. This is regrettable because their description of “Formal Technical Reviews” is very close to the “Inspection” process as described in Tom Gilb’s book and in Michael Fagan’s classic article in IBM System Journal. Once this is understood this book and Gilb’s book on Inspection compliment each other very well.

Essential reading to anyone involved with Software Project Management. – [email protected] from Ireland


Part A: Introduction

Section 1: About This Handbook

Section 2: What Is a Formal Technical Review?

Part B: The Review Environment

Section 1: Selecting Reviewers

Section 2: Management Participation

Section 3: Allocating Time and Facilities for Reviews

Section 4: Notes on Getting Started

Section 5: Technical Reviews and Project Management

PART C: Conducting the Review

Section 1: The Review Leader

Section 2: The Recorder

Section 3: Helpful Rules and Customs for Reviewers

Section 4: Helpful Rules for Management

Section 5: The User and the Review

PART D: Reporting the Results of the Review

Section 1: Functions of Reporting

Section 2: The Technical Review Summary Report

Section 3: The Technical Review Issues List

Section 4: Technical Review Related Issue Report

Section 5: System History

Section 6: Writing Issues

PART E: Varieties of Review Disciplines

Section 1: Why There are So Many Review Variations

Section 2: The Walkthrough

Section 3: Inspections

Section 4: Round-Robin Reviews

Section 5: Review Teams

Section 6: A Collection of Review Tactics

Section 7: Informal Reviews

PART F: Types of Materials Reviewed

Section 1: Varieties of Reviews and Their Origins

Section 2: Functional Specification Reviews

Section 3: Design Reviews

Section 4: Code Reviews

Section 5: Documentation Reviews

Section 6: Test Plan Reviews

Section 7: Tool and Package Reviews

Section 8: Reviews of Training Materials and Plans

Section 9: Reviews of Procedures and Standards

Section 10: Operations and Maintenance Reviews

Section 11: Reviews in an Academic Environment

Section 12: Implementation of Structured Walkthroughs in the Classroom

Part G: Bibliography

Part H: Index