validation vs verification

Today, I will discuss verification vs validation

Verification and validation are two important terms in project management. Because they seem very similar, it’s easy to get them confused.

These are important concepts, and any PMP aspirant needs to understand them well. 

While this topic is not necessarily important from the PMP exam point of view, as a project manager, you must be able to distinguish between these terms.

Let’s get started.

Verification vs Validation

We will start with verification.

Verification

Verification is about building the product correctly, ensuring it meets all stated quality requirements and is as described.

Verification is an objective process. All quality requirements must be well documented for proper measurement and analysis.

For example, let’s say that you are developing a cell phone. You have conducted market research and collected all the information on the required features. You develop a plan to build the product, completing all the requirements and developing the product accordingly.

Now, the production process has started. You carry out an inspection to ensure that everything is going according to plan.

If the product meets requirements, this means it has been verified.

Verification ensures that the product is of high quality, and it is useful in making sure the product is error-free. This is a thoroughly objective process; however, this does not mean the product will meet customers’ requirements, which is where validation comes in.

Validation

Validation is about making sure you have developed the correct product and that it meets customers’ requirements.

Validation is a subjective process. It shows you how well the product has fulfilled the customer’s requirements. Modeling, simulation, and user evaluation are a few techniques that help the invalidation process.

For example, let’s say that you are developing a cell phone for your customers. You have conducted market research and determined what features the item should have. Then you started the production.

However, when the cell phone is finally launched, it does not get the expected market response. Eventually, it fails.

In this situation, you would say that the product could not be validated because it failed to meet the customers’ expectations. Validation is about product testing, and it is a fundamentally subjective process.

Difference Between Verification and Validation

Verification ensures that products meet the specifications, whereas validation ensures that those specifications meet customer requirements.

A few differences between verification and validation:

  • Verification evaluates the process and the product in development, while validation evaluates the product itself.
  • Verification helps the product be built the right way. The objective of validation is to build the right product.
  • Inspection and document review are verification tools. Validation activities include testing the product.
  • The project management team performs the verification process while the client or customer performs validation.

It is possible for the product to pass verification but fail validation.

In the example provided, you can see this; the company developed a cell phone that passed through the verification process. However, when they launched it, the customer response was not positive. The product failed, meaning it can’t be validated.

Summary

Verification and validation are independent procedures. The project manager uses these processes to ensure they have correctly built the right product. Verification is about conformance to specifications, an internal process. Validation is about customer expectation, and it is often an external, subjective process. Verification comes before validation.

I hope this discussion on verification vs validation has been helpful. Please share your experience with using these processes in the comments section.