The University of Sussex

The role of independent V&V in upstream software development processes

Steve Easterbrook

This paper describes the role of Verification and Validation (V&V) during the requirements and high level design processes, and in particular the role of Independent V&V (IV&V). The job of IV&V during these phases is to ensure that the requirements are complete, consistent and valid, and to ensure that the high level design meets the requirements. This contrasts with the role of Quality Assurance (QA), which ensures that appropriate standards and process models are defined and applied. This paper describes the current state of practice for IV&V, concentrating on the process model used in NASA projects. We describe a case study, showing the processes by which problem reporting and tracking takes place, and how IV&V feeds into decison making by the development team. We then describe the problems faced in implementing V&V. We conclude that despite a well-defined process model, and tools to support it, IV&V is still beset by communication and coordination problems.

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