All software companies aim to create an end product that is of high quality. There are several parameters accounted for in inspection efforts to make sure that a product is ready for release. Michael Fagan is credited as being the father of modern software inspection and the methodology for inspection that he pioneered is adaptable to other industries as well.

Overview: What is a Fagan Style Software Inspection?

It is a structured process involving the detection of defects in programming code, designs, and specifications during the development of software.

3 benefits of a Fagan Style Software Inspection

There are several benefits to this type of inspection:

1. Validation

With this method, every activity has a certain entry and exit criteria. That makes this inspection process a way to validate that the output is compliant with the exit criteria of the activity.

2. Greater assurance of high quality

The Fagan method requires organizational measures that are strict. This strictness among team members that are working in consensus can give a greater assurance that the output will be of high quality.

3. Encourages teamwork

The Fagan method requires well-organized teamwork, which is a benefit to nearly all businesses.

Why is Fagan Style Software Inspection important to understand?

This method of inspection is important to understand for the following reasons:


Many of the concepts found in the Fagan method need not be relegated to the inspection of software. They are easily adapted to many other fields.

It ensures documentation is clear and understandable

With the Fagan method well-implemented, you get documentation that is clear, correct, easy to understand, and up to standard.

Error reduction

By having an understanding of this method and its implementation, the number of errors in the preparatory stage of testing can be significantly reduced.

An industry example of Fagan Style Software Inspection

A software manufacturing plant is testing a new product. It has been decided by the board that the Fagan inspection method will be utilized to eliminate any bugs. A team member is assigned to be the moderator. Their responsibilities will include the scheduling of meetings, reporting the results of inspections, and following up on issues that arise. Another team member is assigned to be the reader. Their responsibility is to break down for the team what is written in the work product. One team member is assigned to be the recorder who notates the defects raised during the inspection. All the team members act as inspectors in that they try to find errors. Finally, there is the author. This is the team member that created the new product that is being inspected.

4 best practices when thinking about Fagan Style Software Inspection

Here are some practices to keep in mind when you are launching a Fagan-style inspection:

1. Clear agenda

There should be a clear agenda when the meeting is conducted, and mutual respect should be demonstrated among team members in order for there to be open communication of ideas.

2. Do not just focus on defects

Attention should be paid to the positive aspects of the product, not just the defects.

3. Embrace individual uniqueness

Everyone has their own unique style of work. Defects raised should not be related to the work styles of individuals unless it has a clear impact on product performance.

4. Continual review

Team members should make review a continuous activity and deal with even minor faults upon their detection.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Fagan Style Software Inspection

What are the roles in the Fagan inspection process?

During the inspection process, different members of the team are assigned individual roles. These roles are moderator, author, reader, recorder, and inspector.

What activities does the inspection process consist of?

The inspection process consists of planning, an overview meeting, preparation, an inspection meeting, casual analysis, reworking, and follow-up.

Are there certain characteristics that are part of a successful Fagan inspection?

Absolutely. The inspection process should be organized well in terms of budgeting, planning, and scheduling. Adoption of a well-designed process should happen at the onset. All team members that will be participating should have the appropriate knowledge. Training should be conducted for the various roles. There should be a defined entry and exit plan. Checklists should be prepared and standards should be defined.

The Fagan inspection method helps to meet high standards

The primary function of the Fagan method is to find defects and then devise solutions for eradicating them. The strategy for inspection follows a well-defined process that highlights the strengths of team members for the elimination of bugs. While this method was developed for software, the ideas are well-suited for many kinds of manufacturing and other business interests.

About the Author