Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V)

Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V)

The Standish Group reported in the June 2003 issue of Computer magazine that 80% of software projects are delivered late or over budget and 40% of projects fail or are abandoned. An analysis of our QSM benchmark database in 2007 showed similar numbers: 81% of projects did not meet their schedules and 70% were over budget. How can you ensure that your project is not one of them? A good first step is our Project Health Check service. In addition, however, some mission critical projects may require a more in-depth review, especially when the cost of failure is unacceptable. Our Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) service ensures the project plans and deliverables are thoroughly inspected every step of the way to verify that the software satisfies requirements and validate that it meets your customers' business objectives. Our IV&V service will enable you to deliver your most critical projects on time, within budget and, most importantly with quality that meets or exceeds your stakeholder expectations.

Our Approach

Studies have consistently shown that the cost of rework goes up exponentially as a project progresses through the life cycle phases (i.e. planning, requirements, design, coding, testing, deployment, etc.). Our process is designed to leverage these lessons learned by identifying and removing defects when they are least expensive to fix and, where possible, by using proper planning to prevent many of them from being introduced in the first place. A typical engagement will span the entire life cycle of the project, with focused effort at key milestones.

  1. Good start kickoff meeting (identify the individuals who will coordinate the engagement and participate, determine any unique assessment requirements of the client, identify data sources, establish a timeline and deliverables, brief out the process and the schedule to the participants)
  2. Independent project estimate review QSM will independently review the estimate against our benchmark database to determine if it is realistic, given the established assumptions. Our report will quantify the risk of the current estimate and provide recommendations.
  3. Inspection of planning documents QSM will inspect the project plan and other planning documents against leading practices prescribed by the Project Management Institute (PMI®) and the Software Engineering Institute Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI). Our report will identify potential risks and provide recommendations for strengthening the plan.
  4. Reliability modeling QSM will use the Raleigh function in SLIM-Control® to predict the discovery rate of defects over time based on key project parameters including product size and complexity, process efficiency and peak staffing levels. The predicted defect curve will help guide inspection and testing efforts.
  5. Project tracking and oversight QSM will track actual vs. plan in our SLIM-Control® tool and provide a forecast to complete. Our report will include control panels that show actual vs. planned for milestone completion, functionality produced, cost, effort, and defect rates. The control panels will also include a forecast to complete based on the above.
  6. Inspection of requirements documents QSM will inspect requirements documents such as a system requirements specification to determine whether the requirements are complete, clear, consistent, testable and maintainable. Our inspection report will include a prioritized list of defects found. QSM can also help size the requirements using function point analysis.
  7. Inspection of design documents QSM will inspect design documents such as the system design specification to determine whether they are traceable to requirements, complete, clear, consistent and feasible. Our inspection report will include a prioritized list of defects found.
  8. Inspection of source code QSM will inspect the source code and report on whether we believe it is coherent, traceable to design, consistent, maintainable and does not contain performance bottlenecks. Our inspection report will include a prioritized list of defects found.
  9. Independent testing QSM will develop a test plan and perform independent testing based on the approved requirements. We will record defects found in a defect tracking database and help determine severity and priority. We will also analyze defects with the reliability model in our SLIM Suite to provide a forecast on when the system will be stable enough for delivery.


  • Independent project estimate and modeling of current project plan
  • Periodic status briefings and/or reports
  • IV&V inspection reports
  • IV&V test summary reports
  • Optional SLIM-Estimate®, SLIM-Control®, SLIM MasterPlan® & SLIM-DataManager® products

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PMI® is a registered mark of Project Management Institute, Inc.