84 traceability of requirements an important aspect

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8.4 Traceability of Requirements An important aspect of requirements management is ensuring the trace- ability of requirements. The traceability of a requirement is the ability to trace the requirements over the course of the entire life cycle of the system (see section 4.5.5 ). 8.4.1 Advantages of Traceable Requirements Advantages of requirements traceability The use of traceability information supports system development in many aspects and is often the precondition for establishing and using certain techniques during the developmental process [ Pohl 1996 ; Ramesh 1998 ]: Verifiability: Traceability of requirements allows verifying whether a requirement has been implemented in the system, i.e., if the require- ment has been implemented through a system property. Identification of gold-plated solutions in the system: Traceability of requirements allows for the identification of so-called gold-plated solu- tions of the developed system and thereby allows identifying unneeded properties. In order to do that, for each system property (functional or
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8.4 Traceability of Requirements 123 qualitative), a check is performed to determine whether it contributes to the implementation of a requirement of the system. Identification of gold-plated solutions in the requirements: Tracing requirements back to their origin allows identifying requirements that do not contribute to any system goal and are not associated with any source. Usually, there is no reason for these requirements to exist and hence these requirements do not have to be implemented. Impact analysis: Traceability of requirements allows for the analysis of effects during change management. For example, traceability of requirements allows identifying the requirements artifacts that must be changed when their underlying requirements undergo a change. Reuse: Traceability of requirements allows for the reuse of require- ments artifacts in other projects. By comparing the requirements of a previous project to the requirements of a new project by means of trace links, development artifacts (e.g., components, test cases) can be iden- tified that may be adapted and/or reused in the new development project. Accountability: Traceability of requirements allows for retroactive assignment of development efforts to a requirement. After the require- ment is implemented, for example, all partial efforts for the associated development artifact can be summed up and associated with the requirement. Maintenance: Traceability of requirements allows for simplified system maintenance. For example, the cause and effect of failures can be iden- tified, the system components that are affected by the failure can be determined, and the effort for removing the underlying error can be estimated. 8.4.2 Purpose-Driven Definition of Traceability As resources are usually severely restricted during development projects, capturing all conceivable information that supports the traceability of requirements over the course of the system life cycle is almost never pos- sible.
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