Validation and verification are two terms which are understood to be synonyms to each other; however, they are not.
Validation is about building the right thing. Validation process determines if you have built the correct product for the customers and whether it meets all of their needs and requirements. Validation process checks whether the product specification is fulfilling the customers’ needs or not.
Validation is a subjective process used to assess how well the product is fulfilling or will fulfill the customer requirements. Modeling, simulation, and the user evaluation are few examples of the validation process.
For example, let us say that you are developing a cell phone for your customers. You conducted the market research, collected the number of features to be included in the cell phone, and then you started the production of it.
However, when the cell phone is launched in the market, it did not get the expected response from the customers, and eventually, it failed.
Here, you would say that the product could not be validated because it failed to meet the customers’ requirement and needs.
Verification is about building something correctly. Verification process determines if you are building the product in the correct way as described in procedure manuals and all quality assurance and quality control activities are being performed as they are supposed to be.
Verification process checks that the product is being developed with all specifications are properly applied, or in other words, you can say that the verification process sees whether the product is meeting all documented specifications or not.
Verification is an objective process where product specifications and all quality requirements are documented well enough so that they could be measured and analyzed.
For example, let us say that you are developing a cell phone to be launched in the market. You conducted the market research and then collected the number of functionalities to be included in the cell phone. After collecting the requirements, you design the procedures to be used to build the product and specify the quality requirements for it.
Now the production process has been started. To make sure that everything is going according to plan, you will perform the inspection activities to the process.
Afterwards, you would say that the product has been verified and is being developed as you planned for it.
Let us summarize these terms once again:
- It is about the evaluating the process and product in development.
- It is performed to build a product in right way.
- Document reviews and inspection are examples of the verification process activities.
- It is the process of seeing whether the product satisfies the customers’ needs or not.
- It is performed to the build the right product.
- Validation activities include testing of the product itself.
It is quite possible that the product passes the verification process but fails in validation. You can see it in the example provided in this blog post. The company developed a cell phone for the market that passes through a well-designed and well-defined manufacturing process. However, when the company launches the product in the market, it could not get succeed to get enough customers and ultimately failed.