Traceability Tips for better Product Development

4 Traceability Tips for better Product Development

With product complexity increasing, customers want more sophisticated technologies. Thus there are more requirements and interdependencies than ever. As a result, the product development process has become a matter of how well you can manage these complexities.

Many product development teams have come across the moment when they realize that what they’re creating has become so complicated that it is impossible to trace manually in spreadsheets or with homegrown tools. 

Traceability is one of the key tools to manage complex requirements throughout their lifecycle. When traceability is carried out correctly, teams can accurately assess the impact of changes, track the history of product development, keep everyone in sync. And consistently improve the quality of the products.

In this article, we will share some traceability tips that can help you manage the product development process more accurately.

Tip #1- Document each requirement and its changes

Every requirement is associated with developers, Quality Assurance engineers, customers and other stakeholders. Any change made by any of the stakeholders can create a ripple effect on other related issues or tasks. Therefore, it is critical to document each requirement and track the changes.

Tracing all requirements to avoid a ripple effect is one of the primary reasons organizations use Traceability tools. By documenting all requirements and connecting stakeholders to the requirements, your team can monitor real-time progress and can make quick decisions.

Tip #2- Impact Analysis before Implementation

Change is inevitable in a product development cycle. And so analysis the impact before any implementation becomes essential. Because manually updating the traceability matrix is not only cumbersome but also leads to manual errors. Traceability helps you anticipate the risk involved with any changes to the requirement and its related issues or tasks. 

Using a tool lets you visualise the path from the source requirement downstream to the related issues and task, and then back to the source. Traceability tools help in analyzing the impact from a high level to a low level and vice versa. It minimizes the risk of deviating from the set goal, thus, ensuring a quality product.

Tip #3- Centralized Repository

Visualizing the entire product development from a single-window is very crucial. Having a centralized system encourages team collaboration and allows your team to find the gaps and take collective decisions. This can only be achieved by using Traceability

For example, a centralized traceability system helps the manager to verify the requirements connected to the downstream test cases and check what percentage of those test have passed. In this way, both the tester and contributor can capture changes and resolve issues transparently.

Down the road, you can also view the history log corresponding to the requirement and all changes done.

Tip #4- Conduct frequent Review and Audits

Conducting frequent review and audits is a part of the product development cycle. Rather than depending on the spreadsheets, that needs to be manually updated on a regular basis, you can use Traceability reports.

Traceability reports can review the trail of changes, and identify who, what, when, and why a change occurred. It is specifically important for companies that need to meet compliance standards in a specific field. 

These Traceability reports also enable your team to roll back to earlier versions as data is stored in a unified system. Using these built-in reports for auditing makes the verification process less cumbersome and more reliable.

Investing in a comprehensive Traceability solution can generate a strong return by improving the quality of the product and achieving faster time to market. Links Explorer is one such Traceability tool available in Jira. It saves your time and effort by displaying issues and its related tasks, subtasks or test cases in a unified tree format. 

Inside Links Explorer, you can also create end-to-end Traceability Reports and analyze each requirement and its related issues throughout product development.

Thus, a good traceability tool makes it easier to monitor and review the progress of the product and at the same time helps you stay on time and within the scope.

For more information on Links Explorer Traceability & Hierarchy, the #1 user rated traceability app for Jira, visit

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