The formal review is facilitated by a knowledgeable individual called a moderator, who is not the producer or a team member of the product under review. The meeting is planned in advance, and material is distributed to participants before the review so they will be familiar with the topic and arrive prepared.
Full participation by all members of the review team is required; therefore, the quality of a formal review is directly dependent on the preparation of the participants.A recorder assists the moderator by capturing issues and action items, and publishing them in a formal report with distribution to participants and management.
Defects found are tracked through resolution, usually by way of the existing defect-tracking system. Formal reviews may be held at any time, and apply to both development and test products.