Deciding to Adopt Requirements Traceability in Practice

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The use of requirements traceability for information systems development (ISD) projects is not very common in practice despite its often mentioned advantages in the literature. We conducted a case study in a large IT company to identify the factors that are relevant for the decision whether or not to adopt traceability in an ISD project. Five dominant factors emerged: development organization awareness, customer awareness, return on investment, stakeholder preferences, and process flow. It turned out that the majority of the software development project leaders we interviewed were not aware of the concept of traceability – with the obvious result that using traceability in software project is not even considered. This fact has possibly been underestimated in the present literature of requirements engineering.