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A process for asynchronous software inspection

Murphy, P. and Miller, J. (1997) A process for asynchronous software inspection. In: Software Technology and Engineering Practice, 1997. Proceedings., Eighth IEEE International Workshop on [incorporating Computer Aided Software Engineering]. IEEE.

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Abstract

Although there exists a multitude of different inspection processes, the basis process has remained unchanged since it was first defined by Fagan in 1976. The process has as its central component an inspection meeting which all participants attend. But is this meeting cost effective? Recent work suggests this is not the case. An inspection model that dispenses totally with the need for the inspectors to be in the same place at the same time is presented. It replaces the meeting with further individual inspections combined with asynchronous communication between inspectors. A prototype tool has been developed that supports the asynchronous model. In contrast to a previously developed asynchronous inspection tool, it uses electronic mail as the basis for communication and the reasons for this approach are discussed. The inspection model is evaluated in comparison with the traditional, meeting-oriented approach on a number of criteria. An initial attempt was made to gain quantitive data by carrying out a small-scale experiment, but whilst encouraging results being obtained, the number of subjects was too low for any significant conclusions to be drawn. Larger scale experiments are planned for the future to obtain more data