Traceability is a necessary component for complete and accurate requirements. Traceability is used in many aspects of requirements development and management. A simple definition is that “tracing requirements” means that we show relationships or links between different requirements components. Examples include:

Which data requirements are used in each process?

Which business objectives are supported by each business rule?

Which technical requirements are derived from each business requirement?

This is one area where a requirements development or management tool can be very useful. But even with a tool, tracing requirements can be complex and time consuming. An effective BA plans for the types of relationships that are going to be documented and maintained before getting started with requirements elicitation. It is easiest to “trace as you go” and the only way to accomplish this is to know ahead of time what type of tracing you are planning to perform and maintain.

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