A study on current practices of requirements traceability in systems development
Powers, Timothy Patrick
Stubbs, Curtis David
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The Department of Defense (DoD) currently spends approximately four percent of the total life cycle costs on requirements traceability efforts in large scale systems development. As current DoD standards that require traceability do not clearly specify what information should be captured and used, the practices and usefulness of traceability vary considerably across systems development efforts. The goal of this research is to conduct a comprehensive study of current practices to provide the various views and uses of traceability by the different stakeholders in the System Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Using a field study of 35 systems development organizations, this research profiles the low end users who use traceability only within their own domain of the SDLC and the high end users who view traceability as a means to force higher quality into systems design implementing a traceability methodology across all areas of systems development. Models describing low end and high end uses of traceability practice are also developed. Finally, a detailed case study of a DoD systems development organization was conducted providing a comprehensive view of use and perceived benefits of traceability.
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