A number of different types of reviews can be used during a project as a means to ensure quality, in addition to other control mechanisms. Ensuring the quality of a project result, be it a fundraising event or a tangible product (hardware, software, or otherwise), means that the result is suitable for the intended purpose and that mistakes are eliminated during the development effort.
Common to almost all project types is the Review Meeting,
assessing progress to customer requirements and project objectives at regular intervals during the development process. This meeting is typically a higher level, managerial oversight review, which examines project progress to date and how the deliverable fits with customer expectations. You can prepare for these reviews by using our Review Meeting Planning Worksheet to define the purpose and related success criteria for the review meeting, and then defining the work needed to achieve those success criteria. Often you will find this exercise reveals pre-meetings and pre-selling that will be essential to achieving the goals of the review.
Design reviews, typically used in hardware and software development efforts, provide a deeper assessment of how customer requirements are being met by the deliverables. Software projects will use a code review to assess the design before testing. You can develop your own review process using our Coding Review Guidelines, developed for the medical device industry. A similar process is used for hardware projects, where a succession of design reviews are typically held as the design matures from concept through to detailed design, after which point the hardware system has been tested and validated. An example of a checklist used to guide this type of review is our Review Checklists: Detailed Design Review.
Ultimately, the customer must determine if the product of the project meets their quality expectation and needs. To meet this objective, a User Acceptance Test allows the customer to interact with the product directly and provide a first-hand assessment. Subsequent to this type of test, or as an alternative, use a Customer Acceptance Checklist and Signoff to solicit customer evaluation of the deliverables and get direct feedback.