Understanding Verification vs. Validation (With Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 14, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Software developers perform tests to learn about their product's performance and identify areas that require changes to help improve customer satisfaction. Most software developers, particularly developers that practice Agile methodology, use verification and validation when testing their products. Understanding the differences between both methods may help appreciate their uniqueness and implement them effectively. In this article, we explore verification versus validation, discuss their application in the Agile process, learn when to use them, explain the benefits of each method, and review the industries that benefit from them.

Verification vs. validation

While considering verification vs. validation, it's essential to study their differences to find which method best fits your project:

Definition

The verification method checks whether a product meets specific requirements and specifications during the production process. Software developers who use this method outline particular features or a checklist to develop specific capabilities and features for their products. Then during the production process, they check the products against these specifications to ensure they meet the requirements. During the quality assessment, you may inspect the program and review the product's current state to ensure it's correct. Conducting this review lets you confirm that the program works the way you intend it and helps you prepare for an efficient validation process.

The validation method assesses the product's completeness and measures whether it meets the customers' and stakeholders' requirements. In some cases, you may automate the validation process in software development to ensure that a completed product functions in a pre-determined manner. You can use the demands of the stakeholders to design tests for your program and measure its performance. You can then use the results to identify faulty areas and make necessary changes. Validation allows you to test your product from the user's perspective. This allows you to see what a customer experiences, giving you better ideas to fix the program.

Product status

Validation and verification occur at different stages of the product's development. For instance, you may perform various verification tests at different development points, but all checks happen when the product is incomplete. This way, you and your team can find errors before the final development and launch.

Conversely, validation testing occurs at the end of the product's development process. This testing method allows you to address the product's incomplete features and functionality and check its current usability. Validation requires you to conduct the tests like an end-user. As a result, you can only perform these tests after completing verification checks, and the product is ready for release to the public.

Type of check

Validation and verification use various methods when conducting tests and checks to determine if a product meets specific requirements. For example, your team members may cross-check the code's features against an existing checklist of capabilities to verify the product's code. The verification process may include reading the code, checking if independent parts created by different team members can function together, and assessing the functionality of other aspects of the program. This process may not require a lot of testing because it typically focuses on identifying the code for different features and product parts.

In the validation method, it's essential to conduct various tests to ensure that the product works as you intended it to function. Automated and manual testing involves using the program and observing the outcome to understand an end user's experience. The validation tests include using the software to perform specific actions and analyzing the results to help you easily and quickly identify areas that require improvements and make the necessary changes.

Related: Automation Tester Interview Questions With Sample Answers

Purpose

Both processes have different purposes. For verification, the primary objective is ensuring the products meet the team's standards. In comparison, validation focuses on ensuring the product functions according to the customers' demands. The team's standard may depend on the customers' needs. You can use a detailed checklist to explain the features you intend to implement and the type of code that ensures the product meets the customers' specifications. The primary goal of the verification process is to ensure that your product's features effectively check the items on your outline.

After completing the verification and ensuring that the products meet the team's standard, you may test the general functionality of the product through the validation process. Conducting the product validation before delivering the product to the customers ensures that the customers receive a fully functional product that satisfies their expectations. In addition, providing an excellent product helps improve your team's reputation and builds customer loyalty.

Timeline

Typically, it's mandatory to complete the verification process in the production timeline before moving to the product validation. It's necessary to complete the verification process first because it assesses parts of the program and the features the end-users want in the complete product. More so, it's essential to ensure the program functions properly and doesn't contain bugs or errors. In addition, verification is more effective in the early stages of product development because they check issues before they become more significant problems.

Conversely, you perform the validation process later in the development timeline, usually at the end of the development process, but before delivering the product. Validation is effective at the end of the development cycle because the process requires a complete product that has completed the verification checks. It's essential to complete verification before validation to ensure you fix all the technical bugs that may be difficult to identify at the end of the development cycle.

Objectivity

The processes involved in verification ensure that you produce high-quality products. Some of the processes include inspection, testing, specification analysis, and design analysis. The verification process is objective because it doesn't require any subjective judgments to verify the products. Conversely, the validation process is subjective because it employs subjective assessments to determine how a product may address customers' needs. Some validation processes include user evaluation, requirements modelling, and prototyping.

The application of verification vs. validation in the Agile development process

The Agile development methodology urges developers to constantly evaluate and perform different aspects of production, such as updating requirements, performing tests, and integrating code. Validation and verification are essential tools for constant testing when using the Agile methodology. They give software engineers good feedback on how the products meet the customers' expectations and where they can improve to satisfy the end-users.

Verification allows the developer to exercise a lot of flexibility when updating the program. It may also allow them to change the product's direction depending on the feedback from the different verification tests. Providing opportunities for flexibility is an essential requirement when performing in an adaptable Agile environment. Similarly, performing automated validation checks helps you easily and quickly learn about the product's functionality and ensures you deliver the best quality products.

Read more: What Is an Agile Project Manager? (With Crucial Skills)

When to use verification or validation

You can use both the validation and verification process to ensure that your products meet specific requirements. For example, if you work in a manufacturing company, you may make custom-made products for your customers. During the development process, you can use the verification process to verify that you follow all the necessary steps. Then, after completing the production process, you can use the validation method to ensure the designs and features meet the customer's specifications.

While it's advisable to use the validation process when testing physical products, it may be good practice to automate the validation processes for developing software. Automated validation in software development may help your team handle multiple products simultaneously. In addition, it's essential to consider combining both the verification and validation processes during your product development to ensure that the final product meets both the team's and customers' requirements.

Related: Top 12 Manual Testing Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

What industries may benefit from implementing validation and verification?

Aside from the technology and software development industries, some other industries may benefit from implementing validation or verification techniques in the operation processes. Some of these industries include:

  • Agriculture

  • Food science

  • Health care

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Engineering

  • Finance

  • Science

  • Manufacturing

Benefits of verification

Some of the advantages of the verification method include:

  • A lower number of defects: Verification allows you to address bugs early. This can help you reduce the number of errors you may experience subsequently in the development process.

  • Comprehensive understanding: Performing the verification checks may give you more insight into the product and a comprehensive understanding of the product.

  • Lower chances of failure: Conducting verification checks at different points of the product's development significantly reduces the possibility of unsuccessful projects.

Benefits of validation

Some of the advantages of the validation process include:

  • Double-checking errors: The validation process ensures that you identify any bugs or errors that you may miss during the verification process.

  • Identifying the expected results: If you misunderstand a specification during the verification process and continue development, you can identify and differentiate the actual result from the expected result and make the necessary corrections.

  • Satisfying customers' requirements: Validation ensures that you build the product according to the customers' specifications and satisfy their needs.


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