A review could be done entirely as a manual activity, but there is also tool support. The main manual activity is to examine a work product and make comments about it. Any software work product can be reviewed, including requirements specifications, design specifications, code, test plans, test specifications, test cases, test scripts, user guides or web pages.
Benefits of reviews include early defect detection and correction, development productivity improvements, reduced development timescales, reduced testing cost and time, lifetime cost reductions, fewer defects and improved communication. Reviews can find omissions, for example, in requirements, which are unlikely to be found in dynamic testing.
Reviews, static analysis and dynamic testing have the same objective – identifying defects. They are complementary; the different techniques can find different types of defects effectively and efficiently. Compared to dynamic testing, static techniques find causes of failures (defects) rather than the failures themselves.
Typical defects that are easier to find in reviews than in dynamic testing include: deviations from standards, requirement defects, design defects, insufficient maintainability and incorrect interface specifications.