Do Tech Companies Really Need IV&V Testing?

Written by
Anisha Shah
Published on
April 3, 2023

IV&V stands for independent verification and validation and is testing that is performed by a third-party organization not involved in the development of the product.

It is a standard software development life cycle procedure, however, is it really necessary?  

Could a tech company’s budget be better used elsewhere?

What are the benefits of using IV&V testing?

What is IV&V

First let’s start with what IV&V testing is.

IV&V services determine that a system is being built correctly (verification) and the correct system is being built (validation).

The key element to IV&V testing is that the product, typically a software product, needs to be examined by a third party to determine whether user requirements have been met, alongside ensuring that the product is structurally sound and built to the required specifications. 

The IV&V team may perform reviews of the source code, but the desired outcome is functional testing to ensure that functionality meets user requirements.  

These services and oversight activities span the system development lifecycle to:

  • Identify risk and lessons learned
  • Provide an early objective independent assessment of processes and software products
  • Provide recommendations to improve quality or address deficiencies
  • Determine whether program and project objectives and user needs have been satisfied
  • Demonstrate whether the software requirements and system requirements are correct, complete, consistent, testable and traceable

Regardless of the industry, independent verification and validation’s primary focus is to assess an unbiased review of the requirements of a software or development project to determine whether it is ready for production.

How IV&V Is Performed by Team InnoVet Health

At InnoVet Health, our IV&V team will first receive the software development team scope from which we will have our own Sprint Planning Session where we identify the testing scope based on our team’s capacity and bandwidth for that particular release.

Then a test readiness review meeting will be held with the IV&V team, product owners, development team, and key stakeholders to ensure the environment is ready to test, the code has been deployed, and any other outstanding action items have been completed before testing begins. 

From that point on the IV&V team will spend the next few weeks writing test cases and executing those test cases against the software based on the requirements given. The test lead then works towards completing the following test deliverables to close out the release.

At the end of the testing period our team assembles a Test Execution Summary Report to summarize the total number of test cases executed, passed, and failed; including reports of any defects, findings, issues, or challenges the team ran into during testing. The IV&V team will then work with the development team and product owners to achieve agreement on next steps for any defects or findings made during the IV&V testing effort.

How important Is It to Have an IV&V Team?

This is the million-dollar question: How important is it to have an IV&V team?  

The answer is it is extremely important when it is done correctly.

For IV&V testing to be done correctly it needs to be performed by an unbiased third-party and the IV&V team needs to not only test the requirements given but go BEYOND the required testing.

For example, for a successful independent verification and validation, the team needs to create test scenarios that include out-of-the-box thinking and testing.  

When the development team tests their software in-house, sometimes they do basic testing however there could be many aspects of the software that were not tested. IV&V provides a crucial layer to the software development lifecycle that identifies issues and finds solutions not previously caught.  

THIS IS WHY IV&V is very important.  

The IV&V team goes outside the testing requirements to add more test scenarios and cases ensuring that the quality of testing identifies any-and-all issues that could potentially arise.

When this type of testing is performed, the software development team can be confident they are deploying a quality product into production, mitigating potential issues in the future.

By: Anisha Shah (SQA Test Lead at InnoVet Health) 

About Us:   

InnoVet Health is an IT consultant company specializing in AI and business intelligence, digital services, and health interoperability founded by MIT-alumni & informatics experts. Learn more about us on our website or reach out on LinkedIn. 

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