Challenge 8: Valued

Traceability is a strategic priority valued by all, where every stakeholder has a role to play and actively discharges his or her responsibilities.


  • Description

    Traceability is just expected to be there by people on the engineer

  • Problem Addressed

    Traceability is often valued to the extent that organizations may invest in a tool; there is still somewhat of a misconception that tools will do the job once configured. While current tools provide varying levels of support for traceability, they require organizations to define a traceability process to be used effectively, and many organizations do not invest in this aspect sufficiently. Inadequate training in the ensuing traceability process compounds the issue. The required skills for doing a good job at traceability are unclear and so anyone is often put on the job without preparation, and often reluctantly. Many people do not see the personal reward from doing this job meticulously and there is no motivation to do the task if the benefits are too distant. This can lead to a lack of total stakeholder buy-in to establishing traceability. The granularity at which to trace also remains a value question concerning effort and payback, and getting this wrong can devalue any traceability that is established. To management, the competitive advantage of traceability may therefore end up not being evident. A typical concern that is a barrier to technology transfer is whether any investment in a traceability initiative is actually worth it; value is questioned, along with its value to whom. Traceability certifications do not exist, so are not examined of people or of organizations

Research Projects

Major Research Project:

Traceability Value Awarness

Raise awareness of the value of traceability, to gain buy-in to education and training, and to get commitment to implementation.

Supporting Research Projects:

Research Project 2.

Define traceability roles and responsibilities, and provide support for instantiating and discharging these in different project and organizational settings.

Research Project 3.

Identify the core knowledge areas and associated skills for doing traceability, and create effective pedagogical materials to integrate competency for traceability into software and systems engineering teaching and training.

Research Project 4.

Develop benchmarks and model examples for traceability training and education purposes.

Research Project 5.

Increase awareness of traceability value by developing software tools that use trace links in more interesting and value-added ways than today for wider software and systems engineering tasks.

Research Project 6.

Gather experimental evidence within the Traceability Body of Knowledge of the role of traceability (or not) in software and systems development success rates and longevity.

Research Project 7.

Systematically catalogue both the risks of not doing traceability on a project and the benefits of doing it (to various degrees) within the Traceability Body of Knowledge.

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