Verification and validation of a project collaboration tool

E. William East, Jeffrey G. Kirby, Liang Y. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Given that a significant amount of research and development efforts go into the creation of software tools, it is important that the most effective verification and validation methods be applied. Traditional methods for evaluating the accuracy and benefits of collaborative business process platforms created by East and Kirby, to date, do not constitute a sufficient proof that these tools are actually operating as designed or provide maximum possible value to all users. Verification through user interviews and surveys demonstrates that the software is performing as expected under test conditions, but is insufficient to identify off-purpose uses. Validation efforts performed at discrete points in time, such as economic analysis, describe specific cases and require assumptions of generality. Subjective continuous evaluations, such as user-submitted Call Center tickets, provide a continuous but incomplete measure of users' experience. This paper provides a new taxonomy that can help researchers and developers to frame future verification and validation efforts. The four dimensions of this taxonomy are Objectivity, Sample Size, Frequency, and Purpose. Software users can also apply the taxonomy to evaluate the extent to which products have been evaluated beyond the standard case studies typically found in software vendor literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-214
Number of pages14
JournalAutomation in Construction
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Case study
  • Design review
  • Economic analysis
  • Software engineering
  • Testing
  • Validation
  • Verification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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