Overcoming the Traceability Benefit Problem

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  2. Dr Paul Arkley
  3. Dr Stephen Riddle
Author(s)Arkley P, Riddle S
Publication type Report
Series TitleSchool of Computing Science Technical Report Series
Source Publication DateApril 2005
Report Number906
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To modify complex computer-based systems requires a detailed understanding of their functionality. Requirements Traceability can help the engineer to gain that understanding, but several surveys have observed that traceability information is poorly recorded. We argue that the cause is the lack of direct perceived benefit to the main development process. As a consequence traceability information will be incomplete, inaccurate and out-of-date. We propose a method of recording traceability information, a Traceable Development Contract (TDC), as a means of reducing this problem by tackling the issue of an upstream functional development team imposing changes on a downstream development team. The contract makes the recording of traceability information beneficial to the downstream functional team as it provides a means of specifying the obligations on the upstream team. We also consider the practicalities of implementing such a contract and how it could be further exploited to obtain project development metrics.
InstitutionSchool of Computing Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Place PublishedNewcastle upon Tyne
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