Traceability

What is traceability and why do we care about it?  First a definition


Traceability is the ability to describe and follow the life of a requirement in both a forwards and backwards direction (i.e., from its origins, through its development and specification, to its subsequent deployment and use, and through periods of ongoing refinement 

There are 3 critical points to this aspects:

  1. An independent documenting method: for an object to be traceable it must be documented. This has 2 parts
    1. A unique identifier for the object
    2. A version history of the object
  2. Linkages between objects: the documenting (linking) method must include dependencies between objects.   This can include
    1. Created by (e.g. this model generates that code)
    2. Dependent on (e.g. this requirement is completed by its parent)
    3. Fulfills:(e.g. this test case implementation fulfilled the test requirement)
  3. Bi-directional: The objects can be traced in any direction.  (Note: not all relationships are parent/child: there can be “associated” linkages)
Image result for connect the dots
Traceability allows us to “connect the dots”

Why should we care?

Traceability is about organization; the ability to easily find information.  For small systems, for self-projects, traceability may bean unneeded burden.  However when you have multiple people working on a project. the ability to trace between objects is how we information is relayed.

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