Upstream inspections can eliminate up to 90 percent of a software project's defects while simultaneously producing net cost and schedule savings of 10 to 30 percent. That is why Peer Reviews are a critical component of any effort to reduce software defects or project costs and achieve the shortest possible schedule. Used skillfully, Peer Reviews may be one of the best investments your organization makes in the improvement of its software processes.
Attendees of this seminar will see how Peer Reviews allow developers to share technical expertise and project knowledge, as well as improve overall development skills. They will also gain an understanding of how Peer Reviews provide software project managers with greater assurance that a software engineering process is being followed and that status tracking is fact- as opposed to wish-based. 2-day seminar


Attendees will learn each of the different forms of peer review, how to select the most appropriate form of peer review, and how to apply that selected form of peer review.

Who Should Attend

This seminar will be useful to lead software engineers, software managers, and team members.


All of our public classes are held at the Construx Training Center

The Costs of Software Defects

  • Defect-cost increase
  • Inspections vs. testing
  • Inspection effectiveness data
  • ROI of inspections

Forms of Peer Review

  • Desk checks
  • Pair Programming
  • Walkthroughs
  • Formal inspections
  • Software previews

Desk Checks

  • What is a desk check?
  • Advantages of desk checks
  • Disadvantages of desk checks


  • What is a walkthrough?
  • Walkthrough process flow
  • Walkthrough roles
  • Walkthrough meetings
  • Meetings when participants are geographically separated
  • Advantages of walkthroughs
  • Disadvantages of walkthroughs

Inspection Fundamentals

  • What can be inspected
  • The formal inspection process
  • Planning and preparing for an inspection
  • What happens in the inspection meeting
  • Use of checklists
  • Inspection follow-up and rework
  • Advantages of inspections
  • Disadvantages of inspections

Inspection details

  • Relationship between preparation rate and defect-finding effectiveness
  • Building inspection checklists
  • Details of participant roles: author, moderator, scribe, inspector
  • Selecting the inspectors
  • The manager's role in a formal inspection
  • Differentiating between major and minor issues
  • Personal improvement with inspections

Inspection Pitfalls

  • Why peer reviews can fail and what you can do to maximize success
  • Inspection process failures
  • Team failures
  • Process Improvement failures
  • Organizational failures

Keys to Successful Inspection Meetings

  • Preparation keys to success
  • Do's and Don'ts with inspection materials
  • Moderator guidelines

Variations on Inspections

  • Perspective-based inspections
  • Variations in collection of inspection data
  • Variations in pre-inspection preparation
  • Meeting length options (and do you need a meeting at all?)
  • Kinds of moderator support
  • Kinds of discussion topics allowed
  • Paraphrasing the inspection materials during the meeting or not
  • Issue classification schemes, e.g. "missing/ wrong/ extra"

Formal Inspections with Data Collection

  • Introduction to goal-question-measure or GQM
  • What to measure
  • Why measure

Formal Inspections with Measurement-Based Improvement (aka Fagan Inspections)

  • Introduction to the Shewhart cycle (PDCA)
  • Improving the inspection process
  • Using inspections to Improve the software process
  • Pareto analysis and causal analysis
  • An introduction to statistical process control
  • Cause and effect (fishbone) diagrams

Guidelines for Successful Reviews

  • Establishing a peer review program
  • Plan the introduction of peer reviews
  • Define your organization's goals for peer reviews
  • Roger's research on innovation adoption
  • Which innovation adoption types exist in your organization?
  • Key contributors to successful adoption

Steve Tockey

Steve Tockey is the Principal Consultant at Construx Software. During more than three and a half decades in the software industry, he has worked as a programmer, ...