A Design Validation Plan and Report (DVP&R) is a document that consists of tests conducted to evaluate the hardware functionality of a design to ensure it meets its design specifications or and performance requirement. Although the DVP&R is used during the testing and evaluation phase, it should be created after the design requirements are defined and before any actual engineering design happens. The purpose of the DVP&R is threefold –
It forces the engineer to define measurable/verifiable design specifications.
It gets the engineer thinking about design for testability (DFT) or the processes needed to verify that requirements are met. Good DFT often requires added features to the design, which is why it makes sense to create the DVP&R following design specifications/requirements definition.
It serves as the main source of documentation that contains the results for all hardware validation tests and if the device under test (DUT) meets project requirements. This is the ‘Report’ aspect of the document. A well-organized, concise test plan and report is useful during quality investigations and serves as a referenceable document for future projects.
What goes into DVP&R
This section will go over what information to include in the heading and the information that needs to be included for defining each test. There are different ways to do this, but I’m going to present the way I’ve found to be the most concise.
Below is an example of a heading I created for a Silicon Carbide half bridge board. In the heading, several key pieces of information should be included –
Goal – Answers the question of what the overall objective of the DVP&R is
DVP&R Rev – DVP&R tests can change over time depending on the level of characterization required
Part Name, Revision # – Crucial information that links the document to the DUT
Tester(s) + Email Address – Important to include contact information in case someone has questions later on
Testing Period (Dates) – Important to document when testing was performed
Next, you must define each test, how it will be performed, the equipment needed, and what the acceptance criteria for whether or not the test passed or failed. Let’s dive a bit deeper into each column that is used in defining each test.
Test Description: This includes all information about the test procedure. This needs to be well detailed and is usually best written as a step-by-step procedure. If any observations or measurements need to be made, that should be documented here
Prerequisites: This lists the equipment and materials needed to perform the test. This helps to eliminate any delays caused due to poor inventory preparation.
Acceptance Criteria: This field states the criteria used in determining whether or not a test passed or failed. This should be written in accordance with design specifications.
Passed and Failed: This lists the serial numbers of which boards have passed failed based on the acceptance criteria.
Notes: Any additional information you want to include about the test can be included here
The DVP&R works best when used in conjunction with a board log. The status of the DVP&R tests for a specific board serial number can be tracked there.
Filling out a DVP&R can be a time and thought intensive exercise. It forces you to define measurable objective requirements, design for testability, and to plan and document all tests needed to verify the hardware functionality of your DUT. With that said, it’s a valuable investment that will save you time and headache down the road.
Download DVP&R template here