Collaborative Traceability Management: Challenges and Opportunities
Paper in proceedings, 2016
Traceability and the management of tracing links are important for various reasons, including to manage knowledge about a complex software system, to monitor the progress of its development, and to prove that it is developed in accordance to regulations. However, maintaining tracing links and using them in a beneficial way proves to be challenging in practice. In this paper, we investigate traceability and its management as a collaboration problem. Based on 15 industrial cases and 24 semi-structured interviews we identify a) challenges in collaborative traceability management and b) how traceability management can be used to enable collaboration. Our findings show that main challenges are boundaries between organizations and tools, a lack of common goals and responsibilities, and the difficulty of collaboratively maintaining trace links. On the other hand, traceability can be an important facilitator for documentation and knowledge management.