Project management is a matter of planning and execution. In verification quality problems as well as schedule slips can be avoided through application of the old adage, "begin with the end in mind." Good verification plans include detailed goals formulated with measurable metrics, optimal resource usage, and realistic scheduling. Verification managers and their teams certainly try to plan their processes. However, these plans tend to focus on task performance rather than on defining the verification problem independently of its solution. This approach leaves the door wide open to gaps leading to bug escapes, delays in finding and repairing those bugs, and strained resources.
How Plans Go Awry
Verification plans are often incomplete because teams are too thin. The plan ends up being very inflexible, and there's no way to maintain its relationship with the design project. In other words, it isn't really a plan. The answer is to make the verification plan an executable part of the verification process itself. A plan becomes executable when it's managed through use of a verification processautomation tool. Such a tool generates reports about project status and becomes the basis for analyzing data to determine subsequent steps in an adaptive verification process. When changes in the project are needed, those changes are introduced, tracked, and measured through the updated executable verification plan.