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LN Mishra, CBAP
LN Mishra, CBAP

Requirements traceability : What, why and how

Traceability is one of the lesser understood aspects of business analysis. It is indeed quite hard to maintain good traceability unless automated. This is why BABoK® warns us being theoretical about traceability.

In this article, I would like to explain traceability concepts with help of an example.

BABoK® definition of traceability:

Traceability is the ability to look at a requirement and others to which it is related, linking business requirements to stakeholder and solution requirements, to artifacts and to solution components.

Traceability identifies and documents the lineage of each requirement, including its backward traceability (derivation), forward traceability (allocation) and its relationship to other requirements.

Traceability ensures that the solution conforms to the requirements. It also helps in managing scope, risk, time, requirements changes, cost and communication. It can be used to detect missing functionalities or to identify whether the implemented functionality is supported by a specific requirement.

Reasons for creating traceability are:

Assist in impact analysis for requirements changes.

Ensure requirements coverage: Understand how business objectives are implemented. Business objectives not traced to detailed components have not been analyzed and hence not included in the solution.

Requirements allocation.



When one requirement is derived from the other. Stakeholder requirements are derived from business requirements. Solution requirements are derived from stakeholder requirements.


One requirement can be implemented only if the other has been implemented or easier to implement if the other is implemented.


Relationship between an implementation element and the requirements it is satisfying.


A relation between a requirement and its test case to validate whether the solution fulfills the requirement.

Let’s take a practical example of a requirement to list all products on an eCommerce store (such as


To list products in the ecommerce portal with their price

Derived from (Parent requirement)

Enable e-commerce for business

Dependent requirement (Prerequisite)

Payment gateway to collect payment from customers

Satisfied by (Allocated to Solution component)

Store front end

Validated by (Tested by test component)

Test cases to test store functionality.

This is a simple template to capture requirements traceability. You may transpose the same to handle multiple requirements in the template.

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This entry was published on Apr 04, 2018 / LN Mishra, CBAP. Posted in Business Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
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Ann P posted on Thursday, April 5, 2018 12:31 AM
Great article LN , thanks for sharing this.

Beautifully articulated article on a very useful concept but mostly ignored.
A good traceability ensures coverage of requirements, eases impact analysis and ensures complete coverage of all impacted items.
A must recommend to be done in the Requirements documentation stage and updated subsequently
Ann P
annabe posted on Friday, May 11, 2018 1:38 AM
Thanks for your sharing. Due to the article, I have better understanding about creating traceability .
by the way, I will use it for my project roll the ball.
The Complete BA Trainer posted on Thursday, June 14, 2018 2:01 AM
Thanks for sharing the topic about:
The Complete BA Trainer
Akanksha C posted on Thursday, June 14, 2018 9:11 AM
Very clear and simple explanation about Good requirement Tractability .

Thank you for the article.
Akanksha  C
EliseWachter   posted on Friday, September 14, 2018 7:28 AM
I have a question! Do you think that we can count the show projects as a business! I ask it because I'm a participant of the show and I like it so much that I've decided to try my own business! How can I analyze my future business!
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