A Survey on Usage Scenarios for Requirements Traceability in Practice

  • Elke Bouillon
  • Patrick Mäder
  • Ilka Philippow
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7830)


[Context and motivation] Requirements traceability is known as an important part of development projects. Studies showed that traceability is applied in practice, but insufficient tool- and method-support hinders its practical use. [Question/problem] We conducted a survey to understand which traceability usage scenarios are most relevant for practitioners. Gaining this information is a required step for providing better traceability support to practitioners. [Principal ideas/results] We identified a list of 29 regularly cited usage scenarios and asked practitioners to assess the frequency of use for each in a typical development project. Our analysis is restricted to those 56 participants that were actively using traceability in order to ensure comparable results. Subjects held various roles in the development and reported about diverse projects. [Contribution] This study provides not only an initial catalog of usage scenarios and their relevance, but also provides insights on practitioner’s traceability practices. In result, we found all scenarios to be used by practitioners. Participants use traceability especially for: finding origin and rationale of requirements, documenting a requirement’s history, and tracking requirement or task implementation state. Furthermore, we highlight topics for ongoing evaluation and better method and tool support in the area of requirements traceability.


requirements traceability traceability usage usage scenario 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elke Bouillon
    • 1
  • Patrick Mäder
    • 1
  • Ilka Philippow
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Software SystemsIlmenau Technical UniversityIlmenauGermany

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