Traceability, from Day One

As an ERP project starts, there is a lot of pressure to get through analysis and begin configuring the system.  The client wants to see some results for the large costs they are incurring.   Additionally, the consultant, as soon as he has a view of “what I need to do”, is eager to get started.  Because of this, Project Managers are faced with pressure to get the requirements recorded and move on as quickly as possible.

Yet later there will be a need to trace back from test results and delivered documents to the core requirements.  It doesn’t matter if these are written test scripts; word documents or Visio models, there needs to be a matrix tool that allows traceability.  Building it at the start as a SharePoint list is the easy way.  SharePoint lists give us a single source of truth, and can be easily added to as the project progresses.  Excel makes a less configurable but somewhat useable alternative, and is certainly better than no tracing matrix at all.

The take away here is to start a traceability matrix as the project starts,   its on my “startup list” of things I always put in place within the first two weeks.