Bi-directional traceability and docs

Subject: Bi-directional traceability and docs
From: dan_roberts -at- adp -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2004 14:23:04 -0600


We're going thru the pains of CMMi here, and one of the objectives is to
institute "bi-directal traceability", which, in a nutshell, means that the
spec points to the places in the code and doc that need to change to meet
a user req, and the code and the doc reflect the user req that prompted a
change. And my group here has been asked to consider implementing this
traceability in our doc.

A little background. We release new software versions every 6 months, each
new version consisting of a number of user req "enhancements", which are
then summarized in Release Notes, and propogated throughout the
installation, configuration, and user doc. The Release Notes list each
"enhancement" that goes in a version, but the other docs do not mention
specific enhancements by number. The request is that the other pieces of
doc also begin mentioning the specific "enhancements".

I can come up with good reasons to do so - it helps our users and our
business analysts track how an enhancement ripples through our system.
OTOH, I can see this turning into a big pain in the tuckus.

So, I'm curious: Do any of you folk implement bidirectional traceability
in your docs? If so, how successful was it? Are there caveats to doing
this, things to watch for and guard against?

Any advice would be appreciated.

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