Partitioning Reviews Between Participants

For medium to large size projects, you'll typically choose to divide the tasks associated with conducting a review, so that multiple reviewers can work in parallel. In this description, individual_review will indicate an actual review in the technical sense used by the Review Tool, a specific collection of checks, along with any probes, ratings and notes that have been created. Overall_review will be used to refer to the full scope of the review effort, the collective result of all of the reviewers, the virtual union of all the individual_reviews.

While only one user at a time can be modifying an individual_review, the Review Tool contains a number of features to facilitate your partitioning the overall_review and spreading the review effort across multiple users. You're also able to monitor, share and manage progress across a series of individual_reviews. And finally, when the individual_reviews are completed, you can consolidate the results into a single, unified review (individual_review) for documentation and auditing purposes.

Partitioning Reviews

As described in Basic Operation, when you first create an individual_review you decide which checks to include. So the initial step in partitioning an overall_review into separate individual reviews is to create a series of separate reviews that collectively cover the full scope of the overall_review of your software.

Normally, the preparatory (Prep-xxx) checks would be placed into a separate individual_review, so that they can easily be shared with the other individual_reviews. For particularly large or complex projects, you may decide to further subdivide the preparatory individual_review into multiple individual_reviews.

When creating individual_reviews for the other checks of interest, consider the focus of the checks. Place checks with similar focuses into the same individual_review. For example, if a number of checks all deal with the handling of paths and pathnames, those would be good candidates to include together in the same individual_review.

Repartitioning Reviews

Once the review process has begun, workload, staffing or review requirement changes may cause you to want to change how the checks have been partitioned into individual_reviews. This can be done without losing the overall_review results that have already been achieved across all of the existing individual_reviews.

The first step in repartitioning is to create a new set of individual_reviews that implement the revised partitioning you've chosen, using the original checklist. At this point, the checks in the new individual_reviews are unpopulated.

To import the results that you had already achieved in the old individual_reviews, use the Review > Update [Your_Review] > Import Review into [Your_Review]... dialog. Use this to import the results from each of the old individual_reviews that have checks included in the new review. Apply the Update Existing Results action, so just the checks defined in the new individual_review are imported. The probes, ratings and notes associated with each check are loaded into the new individual_review.

After repeating this process for each new individual_review, you end up with a set of repartitioned individual_reviews that reflect the full progress that had been made in the overall_review.

Sharing Results

For certain individual_reviews, it can be useful to export the results (probes, ratings and notes) into other individual_reviews. This is particularly true for preparatory individual_reviews, which contain probes that are prerequisites to other individual_reviews.

From the perspective of the importing individual_review, the first step is to use the Review > Update [Your_Review] > Import Review into [Your_Review]... dialog. Select the preparatory individual_review to import. If you want to import all of the preparatory checks and some of them don't yet exist in the importing individual_review, apply the Import Full Review action.

If, however, you only want to import a subset of the preparatory checks, you'll need to apply the Update Existing Results action. And if some of the checks you want to import are not yet in the importing individual_review, you'll first need to create an essentially empty review containing just those missing checks, and import that (using Import Full Review). At this point, the checks will exist in the importing individual_review, and the Update Existing Results action will import all of the checks you want.

Note that when importing steps from other reviews or checklists, the probes from the imported step are compared to the probes in the existing step. If the probes have changed, they are imported. At that point, the probes in downstream steps that have dependencies on the imported step are no longer valid, and those automatically generated downstream steps are reset.

Tracking Progress Across the Overall_Review

The Review display for a given individual_review shows the progress in that review. For example, you're able to see the status of each of the checks - how many steps have been completed and how many probes have been identified in each step.

A similar display can be created to monitor the progress across a set of individual_reviews. This shows results as if all of the individual_reviews were combined in a single, unified display.

You control which individual_reviews are included by choosing which individual_reviews to open. You'll need to open these in Read mode, as you only have one (at most) individual_review open in Modify mode.

Once you have multiple individual_reviews open in your session, you'll be able to access the unified display through the Display Combined Reviews menu item.

Combining Reviews

At certain points while conducting a partitioned overall_review, and particularly at the end of the process, you may want to combine (some set of) the individual_reviews back together.

There are a number of alternatives in accomplishing this. In order to maintain the existing individual_reviews in their current state, one approach is to first create a new individual_review to serve as a repository for the data from all of the partitioned individual_reviews.

Then, apply the Review > Update [Your_Review] > Import Review into [Your_Review]... // Import Full Review action to import each of the completed individual_reviews. The result will be that the new individual_review will contain the full results for the overall_review.