One-Size Traceability Does Not Fit All!
Compliance in a broad sense means satisfying obligations and delivering on promises. Even high-quality customer service involves compliance of this kind – your products and services are always what you say they are, and your delivery of them meets customers’ expectations.
Some critical observations:
- Laws, regulations, contracts, deals, agreements, guarantees, warranties, etc. all represent obligations, the very essence of business rules.
- These obligations are constantly amended, extended and (sometimes) terminated, so you need direct traceability for them.
- The typical IT view of traceability is far removed from what the business actually needs to manage obligations.
Many professionals are so immersed in system development they cannot easily separate the notion of obligations (business rules) and requirements – e.g., specifications for modifying some system feature or procedure. Say ‘traceability’ and they immediately think traceability for requirements.
How system development needs to trace requirements into system designs is a very different proposition than the traceability needed for business obligations. The two kinds of traceability can and should be separated.
- Requirements are about building systems, whereas business rules are about running the business.
- Requirements generally fade into the background when a system is delivered, whereas deployment sparks a whole new phase of life for business rules.
Read more about the Big-5 business challenges: http://www.brcommunity.com/articles.php?id=b904