Passing Reviews Between Participants

For small to medium size projects, you may choose to conduct the review process using a single, unified review, rather than to partition the review to distribute the review efforts. Even with unpartitioned reviews, there are normally several people involved in the review process. Performing the checks / steps might be shared among multiple reviewers. And the programmers who are responsible for various sections of the source code are an important resource for reexamining the probes.

The Review Tool supports collaboration across these participants. The normal process of executing the checks and steps results in a growing data repository of the reviews findings. And notes, that can be attached to any checks, steps or probes, provide a natural mechanism for capturing, sharing and documenting comments by any of the participants.

Any number of users can be reading the review, making its contents widely available. Only one user at a time can have it opened for modification. A mechanism for locking and releasing modify permissions allows users to hand off responsibility for making changes.

There may occasionally be times when it's desirable to have multiple people modifying the review at the same time. The suggested approach for doing this is to make a copy of the review, make the second set of changes there, and then import those back into the initial review. The steps for doing this are:

1) Create a new review. This needs to be based on the same checklist as the current review and should contain just those checks that are to be modified in parallel.

2) Import the current review into the new review. Use the Review > Update [New_Review] > Import Review into [New_Review]... dialog, select the current review, and choose Update Existing Results.

At this point, the new review exists, and contains the portion of the current review to be modified. The new review is opened with modify permissions, and the reviewer can make any desired modifications in the new review. However, the reviewers in the two reviews - the current and the new - will need to coordinate with each other to avoid modifying the same checks / steps. Once modifications to the new review are complete, the changed checks need to be imported back into the current review.

3) Check that there are no overlaps between changed checks in the new review and changes in the current review. Review > Compare Reviews... can help with this.

4) Import the new review back into the current review. Use the Review > Update [Current_Review] > Import Review into [Current_Review]... dialog, select the newer review, and choose Import Full Review.

This is a somewhat complex operation, and prone to error. If you find that the desire for parallel sessions is occurring frequently, consider dividing the review in multiple partitions. This can be done at any point in the review process. The mechanisms enforced in a partitioned review will eliminate the need for such careful coordination when making changes in parallel.