Verification activities increase an engineering team’s confidence in its system design meeting system requirements, which in turn are derived from stakeholder needs. Conventional wisdom suggests that the system design should be verified frequently to minimize the cost of rework as the system design matures. However, this strategy is based more on experience of engineers than on a theoretical foundation. In this paper, we develop a belief-based model of verification of system design, using a single system requirement as an abstraction, to determine the conditions under which it is cost effective for an organization to verify frequently. We study the model for a broad set of growth rates in verification setup and rework costs. Our results show that verifying a system design frequently is not always an optimal verification strategy. Instead, it is only an optimal strategy when the costs of reworking a faulty design increase at a certain rate as the design matures.

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