Traceability is there an optimum

At the moment I’m working on a project we won in a tender. As always the tender is a big stack of paper with a a lot of thing you should do, in our case the tender was won by an other unit within my company, and my (sub)project only realizes the new software components, this was documented with a internal quote.

This sounds like a nice starting point for the requirements gathering process, as usually the project needs to start right away with a thigh planning. So down the drain goes the requirements gathering process, “the enterprise architect of the customer knows everything so documenting and tracing requirements isn’t necessary at this moment” 🙁


That could be but how do you know that you have build everything the architect said? Are the architect statements in line with the tender. Did the architect said everything you should have known?

All difficult questions in a project especially in a project with multiple components and national standard which should be implemented. So is saw the old swing picture dooming up in my mind.


So after many discussions we made someone free to gather the requirements, that someone was me 🙂 ! So i started with the tender document and imported in requisite pro (it’s a shame that req pro cant read pdf’s so i had to convert it to word). After a while i marked all the requirements, but the tender document refers to national standards, those documents contain a lot of requirements too.  Should i import these too? or is is enough to make the standard as a requirement? Does the requirements manager know enough details of the standard? Is the standard not to technical? this is a big a granularity question.


Another thing we had discussions over is traceability, how detailed do you do this? and how is it supported by tools. The process we follow is


The tender is marked as a requirement, these requirements trace to the in the internal quote offered requirements. By doing this we saw a gap between the tender and the internal quote, so that’s a nice discussion for the change board.

Based on the internal quote we made a design the design artifacts where traced to the requirements on internal quote level. In this we way we can see if for all requirements designs where made.

Based in the design code was made and tested. And everything is traced, that’s what you think. How detailed would you trace a requirement is it traced till a step in a use-case? or is that to much detail? What we decided is that we traced requirements till a flow (chapter in a use-case). if go go further you need to put a lot of effort in traceability. the reason why we trace to flow level is that the tester can trace his test scripts to a (alternative)flow.