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What are the four fundamental methods of requirement verification?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 301370 Views // 4 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Solution Assessment and Validation (BABOK KA), Testing & Quality Assurance (QA)



The four fundamental methods of verification are Inspection, Demonstration, Test, and Analysis.  The four methods are somewhat hierarchical in nature, as each verifies requirements of a product or system with increasing rigor.  I will provide a description of each with two brief examples of how each could be used to verify the requirements for a car and a software application.

Inspection is the nondestructive examination of a product or system using one or more of the five senses (visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, taste).  It may include simple physical manipulation and measurements.

  • Car: visually examine the car to ensure that it has power windows, power adjustable seats, air conditioning, a navigation system, a tow package, etc.
  • Software Application: visually examine the software for screens that were requested, check for the fields needed for data entry, verify that the necessary buttons exist for initiating required functionality, etc.

Demonstration is the manipulation of the product or system as it is intended to be used to verify that the results are as planned or expected.

  • Car: use the automatic switches to verify that the windows and seats work as intended, start the vehicle and ensure that the air conditioning produces cold air, take the car for a test drive to sense the acceleration and cornering as it was described based on the requirements.
  • Software Application: enter all required fields on a screen and select the button to return a specific report.  Ensure that the report is returned with the type of data needed.

Test is the verification of a product or system using a controlled and predefined series of inputs, data, or stimuli to ensure that the product or system will produce a very specific and predefined output as specified by the requirements.

  • Car: accelerate the car from a complete stop to 60 mph, and verify that it can be done in 5.2 seconds.  Accelerate through a turn under controlled conditions, producing .8G of force, without the car loosing traction.
  • Software Application: enter the type and model of car, automatic windows, power steering, and all other options as stated in the predefined test plan, select the price now button and receive back a price quote of precisely $43,690.

Analysis is the verification of a product or system using models, calculations and testing equipment.  Analysis allows someone to make predictive statements about the typical performance of a product or system based on the confirmed test results of a sample set or by combining the outcome of individual tests to conclude something new about the product or system.  It is often used to predict the breaking point or failure of a product or system by using nondestructive tests to extrapolate the failure point.

  • Car: complete a series of tests which rev the engine at a specific rpm for a set length of time, while monitoring engine vibration and temperature, to verify that the expected results are achieve.  Use this information to model the failure point of the engine, i.e. max rpm sustained over a specific period of time.
  • Software Application: complete a series of tests in which a specified number of users input the characteristics of the car they are attempting to price and initiate the pricing functionality at the same time.  Measure the response of the system to ensure that the pricing function returns its results within the time specified.  Analyze the relationship between increasing number of system users and the time it takes for pricing to be returned.  Record the results to capture system degradation.  Use this information to predict at what point the system no longer meets the maximum allowable time to return pricing as defined by the requirements.

Chris Adams
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Guide for Writing Quality Requirements



ITBloke posted on Tuesday, January 5, 2010 1:27 PM
My views:
Requirement verification is about ensuring that they are defined clearly and precisely to the extent that they can be designed, developed and tested. In order to achieve this, they should be measured against standard quality activities. These are as follows;
Completeness: Ensure that all aspects such as NFR (Non-functional Requirements) are defined.
Terminology: There is a common understand of it and documented.
Clarity: All requirements have unique identifiers and examples are given to make it as simple as possible. Also ensure that they are (spell+grammar) error free and written per the IEEE standard.
Triggering events: Document all triggering events with its Outcomes and ensure that nothing is left out.
Reliability: Make sure that none of the business solution is left out and every defined requirement can be traced to business solution (Business requirement).
Cameron posted on Friday, June 4, 2010 2:41 PM
In my opinion your analysis is merely another form of a test. I would agree with the first three; inspection, demonstration and test. However, I am sure it could be argued that demonstration and test could be combined as well.
Sumit 01 posted on Monday, September 16, 2019 3:48 PM
Requirement verification is a quality check of the analyzed requirements. This task involves making sure your requirements are correct and complete and that they meet the quality standards defined for them.
The techniques used (as defined by Babok) are
• Acceptance and evaluation criteria
• Item tracking
• Metrics and KPI
• Reviews
Sumit 01
[email protected] posted on Thursday, March 12, 2020 3:28 AM
I think that there is a confusion in terms - the article refers to requirements verification while the process is described more like a testing for acceptance process.
Normally, the requirements verification is a task within Requirements analisys and Design Definition knowledge area, which is closer to some of the comments here.
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