Table of Contents | Appendix C-34 | Appendix C-36



The purpose of the In-Process Review is to assess the system's performance and user satisfaction. This review process occurs repeatedly to ensure that the system is performing cost-effectively and that it continues to meet the functional needs of the user. The report provides a description of the review process, its focus, and results. The report also may be used to document management approvals regarding further enhancements or development of the system under review. Depending on the timing and focus of the review, it may involve investigation of system response time, data base capacity, newer technologies available, business functions, and continued user satisfaction with the system.


This section provides a brief description of introductory material in this section. Whenever appropriate, other information may be added.

1.1      Purpose

Describe the purpose of the In-Process Review in this section. Provide the name and identifying information about the system reviewed. Provide the timing of the review to differentiate the In-Process Review Reports created in the life of a system.

1.2      Scope

This section defines the boundaries of the system review. Because this review may address initial production performance and/or continued user satisfaction with the system, describe the specific aspects of the review conducted.

1.3      Project References

This section provides a bibliography of key project references produced for this system.

1.4      Points of Contact

Identify the System Proponent in this section. Provide the name of the responsible organization(s) and titles of the staff that conducted the system review.

1.5      Glossary

Provide a glossary of all terms and abbreviations used in the report that may be unfamiliar to the reader. If it is several pages in length, it may be placed as an appendix.


This section provides an overview of the review process and its approach. This information may differ, depending on if the system review focused on performance, user satisfaction, or both.

2.1      System Overview

In this section, provide a brief general overview of the system reviewed. Examples of information that would be relevant to this section include the following:

•      System name
•      Date of initial implementation
•      Date of latest modification
•      Type of system (such as, administrative, financial)
•      Type of processing (batch, online, transaction processing)
•      Functional requirements traceability matrix
•      System diagram and narrative description
•      Number of computer programs within the system
•      Programming language(s) and database management systems ( DBMSs) used
•      Processing frequency
•      Total monthly processing hours
•      System origination (commercial off-the-shelf or Department of Justice (DOJ)-developed)
•      Testing methodology (test data, live data) for initial system tests
•      Testing methodology (test data, live data) for latest modification
•      Availability of test results
•      Date of last system review, if any
•      List of users
•      List of issues identified in last system review

Expand or contract this list as necessary to include all important aspects of the system that are relevant to the system review. It is not necessary to provide information on all the items in the list above if they are not relevant to the review.

2.2      Functional System Description and Data Usage

This section briefly describes what the system does functionally and how the data are used by the system.

2.3      Performance Review

This section should address the review, system response, capacity, correctness, and other pertinent performance factors.

2.3.1 System Response . To evaluate the responsiveness of the system, it may be appropriate to use a system monitor on mainframe-based systems. For example, for a transaction processing system, data on the number of times each of the system's programs have been executed during a workday, week, or month should be collected as appropriate. The monitor may also provide data on the average and worst-case delay experienced by the programs and the average and worst-case queue lengths. To evaluate the responsiveness of the system for LAN-based systems, it may be appropriate to place a monitor or protocol analyzer on the LAN.

2.3.2 System Capacity. This section examines the ability of the system being reviewed to determine if any performance limitations result from operating the system near the limits of its capacity. For example, for mainframe computer applications using a DBMS, lack of main memory or selection of inappropriate buffer sizing during system generation could result in excessive disk reads and writes that would slow the applications' response. Similarly, a lack of adequate excess hard disk storage could result in large queues at disk controllers, substantially slowing the actual, observed average disk access time. On LAN-based systems, hosting all applications on a server with only one large disk drive and controller could lead to bottlenecks in performance for LAN-based applications. In addition, there may be simple system capacity considerations, such as in an application hosted on a system that has only enough hard disk space available for a limited number of data records.

2.3.3 System Correctness. Depending on the purpose of the review, it may be appropriate to examine the correctness of the system calculations, output, and reports. Presumably, this was done during unit testing and system testing. The intent of examining correctness during the Periodic System Review is to determine if the system is operating correctly with actual operational data inputs because the operational data may differ somewhat from the test data. Examples of items to be evaluated include the following:

–            Values used for case codes
–            Correctness of field definitions
–            Values within data fields
–            Combinations of data fields
–            Calculations
–            Missing data
–            Extraneous data
–            Amounts
–            Units
–            Logic paths and decisions
–            Limits or reasonableness checks
–            Signs
–            Cross-footing of quantitative data
–            Control totals

If the system maintains an audit trail log of hardware and software failures, examine this log to determine the failure modes of the system.

2.3.4 Other. This section discusses the approach to any performance issues that are not easily categorized under the topics listed in the previous sections.

2.4      User Satisfaction Review

A User Satisfaction Review records the effectiveness, correctness, and ease of use of the system from the users' perspective. If appropriate, this review can be used at any point during the information systems life cycle. Summarize the results of the review.

3.0      FINDINGS

This section describes the major findings, results, or conclusions of the review. The intent is to provide management with information for decision making about the system under review. Rank or prioritize the findings by importance, if applicable. Otherwise, group them logically, as appropriate. The ranking, prioritizing, or grouping facilitates making a logical linkage to Section on Recommendations, which provides recommendations regarding the findings. Provide as much detail as necessary to describe the findings clearly and to support the recommendations. The following list provides some examples of information that might be included in this section:

•      What and where short-term problem areas exist (such as, missing tapes, misrouted
•      What and where long-term problem areas exist (such as, machine capacity problems)
•      References to meetings, interviews, and surveys conducted, with a description of their
       results or outcomes
•      References to supporting statistics or reports


This section presents the recommendations derived from the findings of the system review. These recommendations should be phrased as proposals for management consideration and approval.

Depending on the purpose and scope of the specific system review as defined by DOJ management, it may be appropriate to provide multiple alternative recommendations for the findings. If alternative recommendations are provided, then describe the advantages, disadvantages, costs, tradeoffs, etc. associated with each alternative. Rank, prioritize, or group the recommendations logically, as appropriate. Relate the ranking, prioritization, or grouping of the recommendations to that of the findings in Section - Findings.


Reference any management approvals and include any appendices needed to support the In-Process Review Report in this section.

5.1      Approval

Reference or describe the final approval of the In-Process Review Report, which may come from different levels of authority within the organization, depending on the size and importance of the items being reviewed. Thus, complete this section after the initial In-Process Review Report has been presented to management. After management approval of the report, update this section. Also update this section to provide an annotation of the recommendations or course of action selected by management, if appropriate.

5.2      Appendices

In this section, reference any additional items necessary to support the system review from other documents, or add to the appendices, as appropriate.

In-Process Review Report Outline

Cover Page
Table of Contents

1.0       Introduction
            1.1       Purpose
            1.2       Scope
            1.3       Project References
            1.4       Points of Contact
            1.5       Glossary

2.0       Review Process
            2.1       System Overview
            2.2       Functional System Description and Data Usage
            2.3       Performance Review
                        2.3.1       System Response
                        2.3.2       System Capacity
                        2.3.3       System Correctness
                        2.3.4       Other
            2.4       User Satisfaction Review

3.0       Findings

4.0       Recommendations

5.0       Approvals and Appendices
            5.1       Approvals
            5.2       Appendices

Table of Contents | Appendix C-34 | Appendix C-36