Design reviews vary based on each engineering discipline. They offer a great chance to spot omissions and errors early in the development process, reducing delays and design costs later. However there are many ways to optimise your reviews to avoid missed opportunities.
Richard Fletcher MD of electronics design and software development consultancy, Ignys Ltd shares his experience. Revealing the best practices to use to ensure you get the most out of your review.
The best practices for an effective design review include using an experienced engineer who is not the original designer. Traceability is a highly important factor for version control so that if a fault is detected it can be traced back and fixed going forward. Make notes so that the reviewer can best carry out the review. Checklists also allow for consistency in the reviews between team members. Adding categorisation to each finding means the difference between serious comments and ‘nice to have’ notes can be clearly identified.
As well as there being best practices for conducting an effective design review there are also things to be avoided. It is important to note that a review is not a finger pointing exercise and egos should be left at the door. Feedback cannot be fed back effectively if there is interference from the designer. It is designed to offer constructive ways to move forward not to accuse. Equally this exercise should be a complimentary addition to prototyping. It should not be used as an alternative.
Richard said: “We’ve found that reviews work best when they are short, time-bounded activities. Furthermore these should be proportional to the level of complexity and risk involved.”
The focus should be on saving both time and costs. If the review is too lengthy it will outweigh the positives of doing the review.
Read extra tips to optimise your design review usage in the full article here: The gold standard for design reviews
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