7. Requirements traceability

Requirements traceability is the ability to identify the relationship between requirements and other aspects of the product management process. Requirements traceability is essentially mapping requirements to project items such as tasks, testing artifacts, and releases. The entire life of the requirement from conceptualization to successful implementation, both in a forward as well as a backward direction, can be followed and traced. 

The Guide to the Business Analyst’s Body of Knowledge (BABOK 2.0) records that “ All requirements are related to other requirements, to solution components, and other artifacts such as test cases. The goal of tracing is to ensure that requirements (and ultimately, solution components) are linked back to a business objective.” 

Requirements traceability allows project teams to virtual draw connecting lines to other important elements of the project. Effective requirements management tools allow users to gain end to end traceability of their requirements. Investing in good requirements management software to ensure the traceability of requirements is a good idea. You can also use the Requirements Traceability Matrix to understand dependencies and relationships between requirements and other project elements. 

7.1 Forward requirements traceability

The requirements traceability matrix cross-checks whether all formally documented requirements are connected to design elements, product and process artifacts, and project deliverables.

7.2 Backward requirements traceability

Backward requirements traceability is tracking the primary source of the requirements from the implementation or deliverable of the requirement. The SRS (System requirements specification) can be referred to do so. 

7.3 Importance of requirements traceability

Traceability of requirements is extremely important because it demonstrates the relationship between deliverables and original business needs so that there is more transparency in the requirements management and project tracking process. Requirements traceability also enables the project team to conduct an impact analysis easily. If requirements change while implementing them, the traceability matrix helps to see where changes were made and how the rest of the process was affected. It is especially important in testing since it allows the testing team to match tests against requirements and ensure that testing of no functionality or requirement is missed.