Fagan Inspection

Moved from LineByLineReview's discussion section:

The FaganDefectFreeProcess calls out a system for conducting inspections of code, documents, plans, requirements, specifications, magical incantations, and anything else that can possibly have defects. Fagan used data he collected over a 15 year period to fully flesh out this system and to back up his claims of being able to produce defect-free output. The FaganDefectFreeProcess uses a particular definition of "inspection".

How is a FaganInspection different from the definition of "review" in LineByLineReview?

The distinction here is that a review can be conducted all kindsa different ways, whereas an inspection is a formalized process for determining if an entity contains defects or not. There is a very rigid process in conducting an inspection.

What are the differences between a Fagan inspection of code, and a Fagan inspection of a user manual?

None. The participants must be domain-knowledgeable and have meet the preparation criteria. Otherwise, they are performing the same activities in inspecting a book, a picture, a drawing, a TV show, a poem, or source code. Anything that has properties which can be identified as "correct" versus "defective" ahead of time can be inspected via the same process.
ExtremeProgramming is very much a process, with clearly-defined procedures. What it does do is promote development of software over development of documentation. For those used to document-centric processes, it's easy to confuse the shift of focus with a lack of focus.

A question: How is rigid inspection superior to testing in revealing subtle errors of logic that multiple developers often don't see?

Inspection is done in context and by a crew of domain-knowledgeable professionals whose task and duty is to seek out defects. By discussion of potential defects during the inspection often new potential defects are discovered through the Phantom Inspector (the gestalt intelligence, experience, and insight of the whole inspection crew working together). [Note 1] Testing doesn't generate the same gestalt.
  1. I have witnessed this happen right in front of my face as I participated in inspections. -- MartySchrader

See: FaganDefectFreeProcess


View edit of March 2, 2012 or FindPage with title or text search