In this final post of the four-part traceability series, we will look at a recommended traceability technique. The coverage matrix technique is specific to the “manage requirements traceability” task in the BABOK® Guide. Basically, a coverage matrix is a table or spreadsheet used to manage and facilitate tracing of requirements. This simple approach is used on simple projects where there are only a few requirements or on projects where traceability is very limited and not too detailed.
There are a number of factors to consider when deciding between using a tool and using a manual spreadsheet approach to tracing requirements and building your coverage matrix. These factors include:
Number of requirements: Generally, complex projects have more requirements which generate a greater need for a traceability tool. In complex systems, the business analyst must strive to limit the traceability information that is maintained to a usable and reasonable set of data.
Estimated system lifetime: The longer a system or solution will be used within an organization, the greater the need for traceability using either a tool or a spreadsheet. This will assist the team in evaluating the impacts of changes to the operational solution. You also need to consider if this system is critical or non-critical to daily operations.
Level of organizational maturity: Traceability tools are easier to acquire and use when your requirements development and project management processes are mature.
Producing the traced requirements is a necessary step in creating the approved requirements for a project. Traced requirements are strongly recommended as an accompaniment to the approved requirements for your project. They can also assist you in maintaining requirements for re-use on your future projects.
Thank you for reading and thinking about this four-part traceability series of posts, I appreciate your attention and your comments. As always, happy tracing!
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