Written by Carl Goodman
on May 20, 2021

Does this sound familiar? You spent good money to have an Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) vendor review some aspect of your organization, operations or applications. They spent several weeks interviewing Stakeholders, gathering documentation and perhaps asking a few follow-up questions, before disappearing for several weeks to perform their analysis. Just before the end of the engagement, you received their draft report and found that while they made some valuable observations and recommendations, they also missed the mark in several places. With little time and few dollars left to perform additional analysis to fill the gaps and correct misunderstandings, you worked with the vendor to make the best of the situation and modify the report to deliver a final product you could live with. In short, you settled for less than you wanted.

Why Transition to Agile IV&V?

Agile IV&V incorporates the full spectrum of activities that constitute a traditional IV&V engagement, while incorporating Agile techniques that improve business value delivery and better meet your customer expectations. The Agile approach to IV&V is more relational, with the IV&V teams working closely with client teams throughout the process. It involves breaking the engagement into multiple two-week Sprints and delivering Observations, Findings and Recommendations incrementally at the end of each Sprint.

Agile IV&V teams work collaboratively with your teams to create an effective feedback loop early in the engagement that helps both parties work toward a better shared understanding of the discovered information and preliminary analysis. Working side by side and reviewing the IV&V analysis from the beginning allows the IV&V team to adjust as needed, clarify any misunderstandings and ensure they focus on what is most important to you, the client.

This leads to a Final Report better aligned with your needs and expectations and a higher quality end result. Issues are identified early and actionable recommendations are provided in two-week intervals, providing more lead time to create remediation plans.

Consistent Communication

IV&V Activity Reports (IARs), compiled and delivered at the end of each Sprint, are key illustrations of the collaboration and communication maintained throughout the engagement. The IARs contain the Observations, Findings and Recommendations compiled by the Agile IV&V team during associated Sprints. They are reviewed with you during Sprint Review meetings.

The reviews help the Agile IV&V team better understand the business and technical aspects of the engagement. As the client, you can add clarity, question the findings, request changes to improve accuracy and request additional analysis based on the Agile IV&V team’s observations and recommendations. This feedback loop allows the Agile IV&V team to communicate recommendations and for your teams to begin addressing them immediately, unlike traditional IV&V where recommendations are communicated at the end of the engagement.

The IARs can be thought of as draft chapters of the Final Report so there are no surprises at the end of the engagement. Key recommendations are disclosed to the client in the IARs, discussed in the Sprint Reviews and may have even been remediated prior to the Final Report.

Agile IV&V Has Clear Benefits

Agile IV&V brings you and your teams:

  • Greater collaboration between the teams
  • Earlier feedback loop established with robust dialog
  • Iterative delivery of observations, findings and recommendations
  • More lead time for the client to develop remediation plans
  • Closer alignment of the Final Report with customer requirements
  • Higher quality results

Combining traditional IV&V with Agile practices brings collaboration, communication and transparency to the IV&V process. This results in faster feedback, more focus on high priority areas and quicker remediation of issues. The final IV&V Report ends up being more valuable and better aligned with your needs and expectations. Agile IV&V goes beyond helping you Verify and Validate. It helps you identify ways to improve your processes, products or applications through a proven methodology.