Traceability is becoming increasingly important in most engineering projects, if only on the grounds of ‘good practice’, and it is specifically required for projects that have to meet safety standards such as DO-254 and ISO 26262.
To provide traceability, you must maintain the relationships between all aspects of a project; from the system-level requirements through implementation and verification. Unfortunately, many organizations reduce their traceability responsibilities to preparing a few matrices for major reviews and to comply with respective safety standards. Such an approach is very time-consuming and I would argue it does little if anything to improve the overall management of the project. Or the design for that matter.
Good traceability data helps prevent errors and omissions in specifications, design and test plans. The first step is to define a traceability model.
Figure 1. Example Traceability Model