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June 19, 2021

The terms "verification" and "validation" can be confusing. They are often used interchangeably, even though when "V&V" are discussed they are certainly not the same thing but two different processes.

"Verification" is checking that the design during development is conforming to the requirements imposed on it. 

"Validation" is a process for proving that the final product, whatever it is, performs to customer expectations. 

Wikipedia provides this helpful memory aid: "It is sometimes said that validation can be expressed by the query 'Are you building the right thing?' and verification by 'Are you building it right?' 'Building the right thing' refers back to the user's needs, while 'building it right' checks that the specifications are correctly implemented by the system."

Unless you work with these terms on a daily basis, they can still be hard to keep straight in your head. 

IEEE Standard 1012 addresses V&V for systems, software, and hardware. If you have access to a copy, it is worth a read.

Sincerely,

John "Validated" Livingston
Editor
www.NuclearElectricalEngineer.com

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