Why and How Your Traceability Should Evolve: Insights from an Automotive Supplier
Journal article, 2021

Traceability is a key enabler of various activities in automotive software and systems engineering and required by several standards. However, most existing traceability management approaches do not consider that traceability is situated in constantly changing development contexts involving multiple stakeholders. Together with an automotive supplier, we analyzed how technology, business, and organizational factors raise the need for flexible traceability. We present how traceability can be evolved in the development lifecycle, from early elicitation of traceability needs to the implementation of mature traceability strategies. Moreover, we shed light on how traceability can be managed flexibly within an agile team and more formally when crossing team borders and organizational borders. Based on these insights, we present requirements for flexible tool solutions, supporting varying levels of data quality, change propagation, versioning, and organizational traceability.




Data integrity

Software Engineering Process


Automotive engineering


Organizational management and coordination



Rebekka Wohlrab

Systemite AB

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Software Engineering (Chalmers)

Patrizio Pelliccione

University of L'Aquila

University of Gothenburg

Ali Shahrokni

Zenuity AB

Eric Knauss

University of Gothenburg

IEEE Software

0740-7459 (ISSN) 19374194 (eISSN)

Vol. 38 4 62-70 9097278

Subject Categories

Software Engineering

Information Science

Computer Science



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