The Benefits of Pre-Requirements Specification Traceability [RE 2022]

Abstract: Requirements traceability is the ability to trace requirements to other software engineering artifacts. Traceability can be classified as either pre- or post-requirements specifications (RS) traceability. Pre-RS traceability is the ability to trace between requirements and their origin. However, the benefits of pre-RS traceability are often not clear. In this article, we systematically lay out the benefits of pre-RS traceability. We present results from both a literature review and a qualitative survey of practitioners involved with documenting and utilizing such trace links. We find that the benefits strongly depend on the practitioners, their tasks, and the project environment. Awareness of these relationships supports a clearer understanding of the benefits of pre-RS traceability and thus motivates successful implementation of the required practices. The results of our research motivates the adoption of pre-RS traceability and present problem areas for future research.

Keywords: Requirements Engineering, requirements traceability, pre-requirements specification traceability, literature review, qualitative survey

Reference:  Krause, J., Kaufmann, A., Riehle, D. & Jung, M. (2022). The Benefits of Pre-Requirements Specification Traceability. In Proceedings of the 30th International IEEE Requirements Engineering Conference (RE 2022), pp. forthcoming.

The paper is available as a preprint (local copy).

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