One quality control technique is a deliverable walkthrough
(sometimes called a deliverable review).
The deliverable walkthrough is a formal review process in which project
stakeholders are “walked through” a project deliverable, and given
the opportunity to ask questions, raise concerns, or make suggestions. Generally
speaking, deliverables that require human knowledge and creativity can apply
the walkthrough technique. For example, your business requirements report can
be reviewed in a walkthrough. The same is true for program code, marketing
campaigns, and research papers. However, you can’t hold a walkthrough for
tangible deliverables such as a new computer, aircraft components, automobiles,
or clothing. There are other techniques, like inspections, to validate these
types of deliverables.

The following simple process can be used to plan and conduct
a formal deliverable review.

  1. Determine
    the appropriate review participants. Try to include only those people that
    can meaningfully contribute to the review.
  2. Send
    out the review material prior to the meeting, if possible. The formal
    review will proceed more quickly if the team has a chance to review the
    deliverable ahead of time.
  3. Conduct
    the review. The person(s) that created the deliverable walks through the
    work in a logical order and answers questions as they arise from the
    participants. Take into account the following points.
    • Try
      to complete the review in one hour or less to maintain focus.
    • During
      the review, the participants should raise questions, voice concerns and
      offer suggestions.
    • If
      any topics become complicated, they should be taken offline.
    • When
      feedback is given, the person conducting the review should validate whether
      the comment reflects an error that should be addressed or is a suggestion
      that might be followed.
    • The
      person conducting the review should also make sure that the review
      comments don’t become personal. The review is of the product, not the
      person who developed the product. For example, instead of saying that the
      creator made a mistake, the reviewer can point out an error in the
    • Keep
      a list of action items during the review.
  4. Conclude
    the review. Determine how the product fared by using one of the following
    • Pass.
      The product meets all the completion criteria set forth in the review and
      does not need further review. Some small changes can be requested, but
      the deliverable does not have to be reviewed again.
    • More
      work needed. The product needs more substantial rework and should be
      reviewed again once the necessary changes have been made.
  5. Communicate
    the results of the review. Make sure that all interested parties are given
    the results of the review.

The value in a walkthrough is that you get outside opinions
on the overall quality of the deliverable before it is completed, and ensure
the deliverable is created using organization standards, guidelines, and
accepted practices. This input allows the creator to have a much better chance
of delivering an acceptable deliverable the first time. Although it takes time
to do the deliverable walkthrough, this time is usually more than made up for
by reducing the overall time it would have taken to complete the deliverable
and get it approved.