What Is Requirements Traceability?
Requirements traceability is the tracking of requirements throughout the product development lifecycle. It is a documented thread that provides forward and backward visibility into all activity surrounding each requirement (including design, development, testing, and support).
Requirements traceability is vital to positive project outcomes, as it minimizes the risk of error and also maximizes productivity. The results of effective requirements traceability include improved team efficiency, more effective regulatory compliance, and higher-quality products.
Requirements Traceability and Available Tools
Manual requirements traceability can be time-consuming and ineffective. Because the margin for human error is large, risks are often present with static documents, spreadsheets, and other traditional tools. If you’ve fallen victim to these risks in your organization, it may be time to consider automated requirements management tools. Let’s take a closer look:
Requirement Management Tools:
Requirement failure is the number one reason why technology and software implementation doesn’t go to plan. So if you want your digital transformation to be as effective as possible, selecting the right requirement management tools is the first step. Why? Because requirements management tools offer a far more streamlined and efficient process. The right requirement management tools save you time, energy, and resources, not to mention the opportunity cost of finding the right solutions that drive digital transformation.
Requirements Traceability Matrix:
A requirements traceability matrix is a document that demonstrates the relationship between requirements and other artifacts, proving that requirements have been fulfilled correctly. Typically, it documents requirements, tests, test results, and issues. Olive’s traceability matrix includes Elicitation, Validation, Specification, and Verification.
Olive’s traceability matrix includes Elicitation, Validation, Specification, and Verification.
Why Is Requirements Traceability Important For Software Selection?
The traditional software selection is too long, flawed, and risk-prone. Cobbling tools together to run the process, results in questionable data, and potentially human error and bias within the results. Consequently, requirement failure is the number one reason why technology and software implementation doesn’t go to plan, holding back digital transformation. In fact, a huge 71% of software projects fail because of poorly articulated requirements. Within a software selection context, requirement traceability is vital and can help achieve successful and seamless implementation. Effective requirements management is key to unlocking digital transformation success, so ensure you are using the latest solutions to automate the process and increase due diligence.
Requirements Management Software vs. Free Requirements Traceability Matrix Templates
You can simply Google ‘’Free Requirements Traceability Matrix Template’’ and find many downloadable templates.
However, it’s important to remember that all templates are not created equally. Free templates are not tailored to your specific requirements and may result in ambiguous, error-prone outcomes.
On the other hand, when you use a collaborative requirements management tool, such as Olive, you can gain many benefits.
Benefits of Requirements Management Software
Save time (automated process)
The right collaborative requirements management tool can save you time with features such as pre-built requirements libraries. As a result, the evaluation time is cut down by months.
Spending countless hours working on admin tasks that could be automated is the definition of wasted time, and leads to a decrease in productivity. With the right collaborative requirements management tool, traceability is done for you through the system. No need to spend hours in spreadsheets and transcribing meeting notes.
Increase collaboration and alignment
Olive’s robust requirement libraries and internal survey features facilitate an agile collaboration process, making it easy to find exactly what solution your client or business needs.
With a collaborative requirements management tool in place, you can document everything in a centralized location. For example, with Olive, only the author or administrator can make changes to a requirement to make it easy to track who provided the requirements.
Writing unambiguous requirements is more difficult than it seems, particularly when translating them into a vendor-appropriate format. A collaborative requirements management tool helps keep requirements short, articulate, and unambiguous.
Increased due diligence
Skipping over due diligence and going straight to only evaluating a few recommended solutions never ends well. Requirements management software can drive thorough due diligence and gain insights into how well a vendor meets the project’s specific needs without having to sift through excel spreadsheets. Instead of using scattered individual requirements documents, a centralized requirements management tool provides superior traceability.
Reduce decision risk
Gathering requirements can be highly ambiguous, and risks come in the form of making mistakes, rushing, or looking for shortcuts in a tedious, costly process. Using an effective collaborative requirements management tool, you can automate redundant functions, remove bias, and ultimately reduce costly decision risk.
Find the best solution in the market for the business needs
Free Requirements Traceability Matrix Templates do not curate solutions specifically for your unique business needs. Instead, focus on finding a collaborative requirements management tool that is curated to your business needs. For example, Olive focuses on offering vendors that are tailored to your business requirements.
Streamline and automate your process (consultants)
IT Consultants often find themselves caught up in lengthy excel spreadsheets and other manual tools. A collaborative requirements management tool helps consultants capture and rank requirements quickly and easily, all in one online platform.
Features to Consider When Selecting Requirements Traceability Software
Selecting the right requirement traceability software includes the necessary due diligence on your behalf. Look out for the following five features:
A Robust Requirements Library
Look for a robust requirements library with internal survey features to facilitate an agile collaboration process.
These facilitate an agile requirements gathering process and help you get out of excel spreadsheets for good!
The Ability to Compare Solution Vendors
Look for a requirement traceability software that does not charge vendors. For example, Olive facilitates vendor-neutral decisions based on what you need, not what vendors sell or subjective reviews. This allows you to invite vendors to respond to requirements without revealing the identity of your client or business.
Detailed, Automated Due Diligence
Look for a tool that offers detailed reporting on how all potential solutions meet the business requirements. For example, Olive users drive thorough due diligence and gain insights as to how well a vendor meets their specific needs, without having to sift through excel spreadsheets.
A Guided Technology Evaluation Process
Shorten the evaluation process by letting the tech do it for you! For example, you can compare vendor responses to the requirements with Olive’s platform, getting to a shortlist of solutions faster than ever.
Automated Requirements Traceability
Effective requirements management is key to unlocking digital transformation success. Is a requirement management tool worth the investment? YES! Let’s run through some benefits of Olive’s traceability features:
- With Olive, traceability is automated. No need to spend hours in spreadsheets and transcribing meeting notes.
- Olive automatically tracks the author of requirements:
- Only the author or administrator can make changes to a requirement to make it easy to track who provided the requirements
- Stakeholders are associated with departments so that you can easily see which requirements are relevant for which department.
- Requirements ranking is tracked at an individual stakeholder level so that you know who said a requirement was important or not.
- Individual stakeholders also track vendor scores, so you can see how the vendor was scored and by whom.
- Individual stakeholders track all comments and chats, so you always know who said what and when.
- The same functionality applies to vendor representatives so that you can hold them accountable for the responses provided.