This is the fourth post in a series about the PMI-PBA certification. The Traceability and Monitoring domain follows the Analysis domain and includes much of the business analysis work that is traditionally called Requirements Management.Although this is a small domain relative to the others (only 15 percent of exam questions come from this domain), Traceability and Monitoring describes very important work. The Traceability and Monitoring domain describes the work of keeping track of the requirements, reporting on their completion, linking them to each other and other project components, and assessing the impact of changes. The word monitor means to warn or caution about a potential problem. Analysts monitor the solution scope and requirements throughout the project life cycle and alert or warn the project manager if there are any potential problems.
When you study the work in this domain, it is best to think of requirements as individual components that are all in different stages of development. Some are new and have not yet been analyzed. Some are analyzed, but not yet approved. Eventually, each one of them will be completed, rejected, or deferred.
Tracing requirements results in many benefits for your project.
Traceability Provides a Double Check
Traceability is a great way to make sure requirements are not missed. One of the most difficult things about developing requirements is knowing when you are done. How do you know you haven’t missed anything? This fear sometimes causes an analyst to spend more time than necessary eliciting and analyzing. Tracing requirements and their relationships to other requirements is a great way to check your work and help you find missing pieces. Whenever a row or column in a traceability matrix is empty, you may be missing a requirement or a detail about a requirement.
Traceability Allows Impact Analysis
Impact analysis involves looking at the potential impact of a change. A traceability matrix is a valuable tool for impact analysis when the requirements are correctly linked. When a stakeholder requests a requirements change, the business analyst uses traceability links to find all of the related requirements and solution components to assess the size of the impact.
Traceability Keeps the Team Focused
Every requirement must tie back to a project objective. In addition, if a requirement has numerous links, it is important to make sure it is analyzed completely. Knowing which requirements have the most connections keeps the team focused on these requirements. By showing priorities and links in one place, we can easily see which requirements need most of our time and energy.
My exam prep study guide will be available for pre-orders in August. Also, check out our virtual training PMI-PBA Exam Prep course and our practice exam questions BA Fastrack for PMI-PBA to get ready for your exam! Only one domain is left, watch for my next post on the Evaluation domain.
My passion for critical thinking and providing business value drove me to help define the business analysis profession. The business analysis profession is made up of individuals who excel at evaluating problems, identifying possible solutions, and assessing costs and benefits before recommending a change. As an early IIBA® member, I worked on the development of a worldwide standard for business analysis, the BABOK® Guide. I continue to volunteer with the IIBA mentoring, writing, presenting, and promoting the organization and its principles.