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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Validation (VAL) Process Area in Capability Maturity Model (CMMi)

An Engineering process area at Maturity Level 3. The purpose of Validation (VAL) is to demonstrate that a product or product component fulfills its intended use when placed in its intended environment. Validation activities can be applied to all aspects of the product in any of its intended environments, such as operation, training, manufacturing, maintenance, and support services. The methods employed to accomplish validation can be applied to work products as well as to the product and product components.
The validation environment should represent the intended environment for the product and product components as well as represent the intended environment suitable for validation activities with work products.
Validation demonstrates that the product, as provided, will fulfill its intended use; whereas, verification addresses whether the work product properly reflects the specified requirements. Whenever possible, validation should be accomplished using the product or product component operating in its intended environment. The entire environment can be used or only part of it.

Specific Practices by Goal

SG 1 Prepare for Validation
Preparation activities include selecting products and product components for validation and establishing and maintaining the validation environment, procedures, and criteria. The items selected for validation may include only the product or it may include appropriate levels of the product components that are used to build the product.
- SP 1.1 Select Products for Validation.
Products and product components are selected for validation on the basis of their relationship to user needs. For each product component, the scope of the validation (e.g., operational behavior, maintenance, training, and user interface) should be determined.
- SP 1.2 Establish the Validation Environment.
The requirements for the validation environment are driven by the product or product components selected, by the type of the work products (e.g., design, prototype, and final version), and by the methods of validation. These may yield requirements for the purchase or development of equipment, software, or other resources. These requirements are provided to the requirements development processes for development. The validation environment may include the reuse of existing resources.
- SP 1.3 Establish Validation Procedures and Criteria.
Validation procedures and criteria are defined to ensure that the product or product component will fulfill its intended use when placed in its intended environment. Acceptance test cases and procedures may meet the need for validation procedures.
The validation procedures and criteria include test and evaluation of maintenance, training, and support services.

SG 2 Validate Product or Product Components
The product or product components are validated to ensure that they are suitable for use in their intended operating environment. The validation methods, procedures, and criteria are used to validate the selected products and product components and any associated maintenance, training, and support services using the appropriate validation environment. Validation activities are performed throughout the product lifecycle.
- SP 2.1 Perform Validation.
Perform validation on the selected products and product components. To be acceptable to users, a product or product component must perform as expected in its intended operational environment. Validation activities are performed and the resulting data are collected according to the established methods, procedures, and criteria.
- SP 2.2 Analyze Validation Results.
The data resulting from validation tests, inspections, demonstrations, or evaluations are analyzed against the defined validation criteria. Analysis reports indicate whether the needs were met; in the case of deficiencies, these reports document the degree of success or failure and categorize probable cause of failure. The collected test, inspection, or review results are compared with established evaluation criteria to determine whether to proceed or to address requirements or design issues in the requirements development or technical solution processes.

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