How to know if my software is valid?

First of all lest define what is V&V (Verification and Validation) and why it is important. According to IEEE Standard Glossary of Software Engineering Terminology, V&V is defined as a process used to determine wether

  • Requirements for a system or component are complete and correct.
  • Products of each development phase fulfill the requirements or conditions imposed by the previous phase.
  • Final systems or components comply with specified requirement

In other words V&V helps us to know if our project satisfied all the specific requirements we set. The problem is that there are many perceptions of what V&V is and what is not, thats why V&V have so many different standards with different requirements and is one of the most difficult specialization you can follow in the area.

Example of V&V International Standards

P1012 – Standard for System, Software, and Hardware Verification and Validation by IEEE Computer Society – “This verification and validation (V&V) standard is a process standard that addresses all system, software, and hardware life cycle processes. This standard is compatible with all life cycle models”

IEEE 1012-2016/Cor 1-2017 – IEEE Standard for System, Software and Hardware by IEEE – “Verification and validation (V&V) processes are used to determine whether the development products of a given activity conform to the requirements of that activity and whether the product satisfies its intended use and user needs”

Steps of a project Validation

1. Create a validation plan: The first step in the validation process is to create a validation plan (VP) that identifies who, what, and where.

2. Define system requirements: defining what you expect the system to do

3. Create the validation protocol and test specifications: The test plan describes the objectives, scope, approach, risks, resources, and schedule of the software test.

4. Testing: Tests are executed based on the test plan and test cases.

5. Develop/Revise procedures and Final Report: Approval of this report is the final release for a system to go into production

Elements of a Successful Validation Plan

Introduction and scope: High level statements of the objectives of the system or project.

System overview: Business description of the system or project

Organization Structure: Roles and responsibilities of those involved

Quality Risk Manager: Description of the overall quality risk management approach

Validation Strategy: The identification of the validation lifecycle, inputs and outputs of each project stage, acceptance criteria and methods of traceability and design review.

Deliverables: Required deliverables and a responsibility assignment matrix

Change Control: Identify the relevant procedures and tasks required to change the scope

Standard Operating Procedures: standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) indicating how the system is operated and controlled

Glossary: Vocabulary of acronyms and initialisms.

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