Our proven, strategic approach to IV&V combines a process-driven, standards-based methodology of full life cycle IV&V with a practical focus on high-value activities. We provide the unbiased and independent assessments required to ensure compliance with organizational processes, and to verify the functionality, performance, security, and quality of enterprise systems. Our methodology is rooted in formal standards, such as IEEE 1012-2004, as well as industry best practices, such as PMBOK, and has been refined over time through practical experience on programs at agencies including HHS, DOL, and USPTO. Our processes cover all the IV&V activities defined under the IEEE standard 1012-2004, which establishes activities and tasks required to support all software life cycle processes including acquisition, supply, development, operation, and maintenance.
Our processes helps determine whether development products of the integrator conform to the stated requirements and meet their intended purpose. We make these determinations through assessment, analysis, measurement, inspection, and/or testing of the development products. Our approach to IV&V includes providing plans, expectations, and lessons-learned to upstream processes.
The following sections summarize the strategies, processes, and tools used in our approach:
- IV&V Strategies - Our strategic approach combines a process-driven, standards-based methodology of full life-cycle IV&V with a practical focus on high-value activities to produce independent assessments required to ensure the functionality, performance, security, and quality of the Service Provider’s activities. Our method evaluates the needs of each specific program and adapts our IV&V plan accordingly. Similarly, as processes improve, we adjust our approach (e.g., leveraging upstream artifacts) to avoid duplicative effort, while still providing effective independent verification.
- IV&V Processes - Our processes span the full range of IV&V activities required to verify and validate services. They provide an objective, independent assessment of the processes, deliverables, issues, service performance, and overall ability to deliver critical enterprise IT services. Our IV&V processes encompass the full life cycle of IT service delivery. Our activities will help determine whether deliverables conform to the stated requirements and meet their intended purpose. Process details will be captured in an IV&V Plan, based on a template we have refined across multiple projects.
- IV&V Tools - Our technical approach utilizes a variety of tools to ensure IV&V that is comprehensive, methodical, and efficient. In this way we eliminate gaps that might allow problems to slip through, ensure all issues are properly tracked to closure, and create an environment that fosters a high level of productivity for our IV&V analysts. We use a combination of tools ranging from the general to the specialized.
HHS Grants.gov IV&V/PTS
BPS provides technical support services to the Grants.gov program for development, operations, and enhancement of the Grants.gov federal grants portal. In this capacity, we provide program and technical management support, perform independent verification and validation (IV&V), and conduct technology insertion studies. In the area of IV&V, we plan and perform acceptance testing of all software releases and data entry forms, review and revise public communications, and track all issues and defects from identification to resolution.
BPS established a unique approach to IV&V that emphasized collaboration and cooperation to achieve the program's strategic goals. This approach combined traditional structured software testing/verification with strategic assessments and recommendations to ensure that the IV&V team was partnered with, not positioned against, the development and operations teams to achieve the program goals. We are proud to have been an integral part of the team responsible for making Grants.gov widely recognized as one of the most successful e-Government initiatives.
USPTO Product Verification Testing
BPS works closely with USPTO's test managers, in support of all of the agency's 190+ enterprise systems. We lead the performance testing efforts and support prep-production verification testing that includes both code and configuration changes. BPS also leads the process development efforts, including tools, procedures, and the adoption of best practices for independent verification.
USPTO was working to launch a federally mandated new program, the Patent Review Processing System (PRPS) by September 16, 2012. Just days before the system was to move to production, the CIO requested verification that the system would be able to handle 6,000 registrations within a one-hour window. Under high-pressure time constraints, given the September 16th due date, we were able to confirm the system met the CIO’s desired performance requirements. Additionally, we took our validation efforts even further and identified a critical security issue that had been overlooked. This security issue could have allowed a malicious user to change system account credentials in PRPS. Based on our recommendation, this issue was fixed the day before the system went live.