Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Traceability through a simple metamodel

When people start defining processes with total traceability between every aspect, the sight is often not very pretty! When traceability adds multiple layers of complexity it rarely pays for itself in terms of improved quality or maintainability.

This is one of the reason why we defined what we termed the "minimum metamodel" in the Better Software Faster book on agile development. The diagram shown here is this model in its simplest form. The questions traceability should answer are:
  • How is this requirement tested?
  • How is this requirement implemented?
  • How is this part of the design tested?
  • Why is this part of the design needed?
It's a useful starting point when defining the artifacts required in a software development process, and the references they should contain to enable these questions to be answered.
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