The utility of reviews, specifically of artifacts related to software development cannot be overemphasized. However, adopting a consistent and fruitful review process is difficult. There are many challenges to streamlining a review process to be widely accepted and followed in a software development team.
In this paper, we look at the learning gleaned from trying to adopt a consistent, constructive and effective review process across multiple teams. We look at the pitfalls, travails, shortcomings and mistakes while adopting a review process across various stages of the development process. We also highlight things that actually help a review process to be a “baked in” part of development process rather than being a “bolted on”. This paper is primarily based on the authors’ first hand experiences on introducing, sustaining and benefitting from peer reviews in software development.
The paper presents a holistic view of review rather than focusing on just code reviews. Review of other artifacts like designs, plans, and schedules shall also be discussed. It will be useful to managers and development team members in leadership roles. The paper provides insight from practical and firsthand experience about one of the important aspects of a software development process.