Traceability in Jira
June 25, 2019

Five reasons you should care about traceability in Jira

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Cristiano Caetano 4 minute read

Traceability keeps everyone in sync throughout the software development lifecycle. It helps you eliminate unnecessary requirements, helps control costs and prevents project delays. It also ensures that the scope of the project is not expanded by adding extra code or test cases that are not specified in the requirements. But why exactly should you care about traceability inside Jira, and how can Test Management for Jira help? Let’s take a closer look.

1. Backward and forward traceability

Maintaining backward and forward traceability ensures the completeness of the requirements management process. It helps you to identify critical dependencies between requirements and other artifacts, supporting better visibility and control of these relationships. By establishing backward and forward traceability, new functionality can be traced to the requirements and the business objectives ensuring it is within the scope of the solution. With Test Management for Jira, teams can maintain 360-degree traceability between issues and test cases to increase visibility and avoid the often expensive mistake of missing and conflicting artifacts.

1.backwards and forwards traceability

2. Identify gaps in test design

Establishing traceability ensures each requirement is covered for at least one test case. It helps you identify gaps in test design and coverage so that proper measures can be taken to resolve them. Coverage reports make it easier to identify orphan requirements or test cases, if applicable. Test Management for Jira provides test coverage reports for each step of the software development process.

2. Identify gaps in test design

3. Manage continuous change

To manage continuously and frequently changing requirements you need to have a proper process for systematically analysing the impact of each proposed change. A great benefit to traceability tracking is its ability to assess the impact of changes on requirements. Helping you to understand the implications, identify associated tasks, and estimate the effort required to implement the change. 

When project requirements change, a traceability report allows you to identify all of the impacted artifacts. As a result, you are able to quickly assess the impact of the change and act accordingly. Test Management for Jira has traceability matrices reports that reduce the risk that one or more of the affected artifacts are forgotten potentially leading to incomplete implementation or validation of a change.

3. Manage continuous change

4. Streamline reviews and audits

Accurate reviews and audits have become essential to the success of software companies, especially in regulated industries. For those industries, traceability tracking is actually a requirement and crucial tool that helps auditors to review requirements and impacted artifacts. Well established traceability links can streamline reviewing and auditing process. In addition, inconsistency and incompleteness can be detected and fixed early, and with minimal cost and effort.

Test Management for Jira enables the auditors to reference and correlate all artifacts back to the requirements in a consistent and systematic manner, helping them check for compliance with standards, guidelines, specifications and procedures. 

4. Streamline reviews and audits

5. Efficient test management

Traceability tracking enables more efficient test management since it helps test managers validate whether the requirements have been covered by tests. This reduces the number of poorly maintained test libraries due to omissions and inconsistencies. With traceability tracking, test managers are able to anticipate and proactively deal with changes in the requirements as well as ensure these changes are propagated across linked test cases.

Furthermore, it assists in determining what areas of the system have been tested during a regression cycle and areas that need to be retested. It helps track the defect all the way back to the originating requirement and extracting metrics in the defect level (defect rate, defect age, defect leakage and several other metrics).

Test Management for Jira allows teams to create insightful cross-project reports and dashboards to track coverage, progress and quality at every level.

5. Efficient test management 

Traceability with Test Management for Jira

From identifying critical dependencies across your test cases down to analysing the impact of each proposed change, traceability tracking with Test Management for Jira provides powerful visibility across your entire test management lifecycle, right inside Jira. You can find out more about how to manage and track traceability in Jira in our official documentation page.

We would love to hear how traceability tracking is helping your business. Comment below or tweet us at @Adaptavist using #TM4J.

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