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Improve quality with Lifecycle Traceability

About a dozen years ago, Tim Berners-Lee coined the term “Semantic Web”. Wikipedia states

The main purpose of the Semantic Web is driving the evolution of the current Web by enabling users to find, share, and combine information more easily.”

With Lifecycle Traceability, we not only share and combine information about our projects, we ensure that software is released having answered the hard questions that really quantify “doneness” and its associated quality. Traceability implies the ability to determine completeness and necessitates the linking of all types of artifacts; requirements to plan items, requirements to test cases, plan items to test cases.  With lifecycle traceability, project managers can ensure the development team is meeting the needs of the business, and that there are no gaps in testing. Defects can be triaged with visibility into their impact. Quality improves because each team member has easy access to the artifact that they depend on, and everyone shares the same view regardless of their role.

In  this video, I demonstrate some of the Lifecycle Traceability features provided by the IBM Rational solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management.

Taking a simplistic view, quality can be divided into two large buckets. First, as meeting customers’ needs and expectations. Second, as being reliable, stable and dependable.  Consider these quality questions for your organization:

  • Are you confident you’ve implemented all of the designs and requirements from the business?
  • Can you assess project completion by asking how many plan items have test cases that have not been run?
  • Can you assess project quality by running a query to show you which requirements (or plan items) have failing test cases or open defects?
  • Can you steer a team’s activity because you have insight into which high priority plan items (or requirements) have open defects?
  • Are all requirements tested?
  • Do you know what tests to run against each new build?
  • Can you tell when a defect is blocking the test team?

Lifecycle traceability helps your team answer the harder questions about project status by creating associations between related artifacts, such as requirements, plan items, source code, test assets and builds. With lifecycle traceability, project managers can ensure the development team is meeting the needs of the business and that there are no gaps in testing.  Quality improves because everyone shares the same view regardless of their role.

Lifecycle traceability improves quality by:

  • Establishing relationships between software artifacts
  • Identifying and closing artifact gaps for all disciplines
  • Providing team members with access to related artifacts so they can make fully informed decisions
  • Providing a clear view of completeness from requirements all the way to release

The CLM team seeks to provide you with a great experience. To do so, we invite you to collaborate with us through the multiple channels we provide such as:

Check out these links for more information on the Five Imperatives:


Monica Luke
Strategic Offerings Lead

Carolyn Pampino
Program Director Strategic offerings for IT, and Jazz team member