TRACEABILITY Management Capability
For the SES ENGINEERING Studio
A SMARTer way to trace among engineering items
TRACEABILITY Management Capability is a capability of The SES ENGINEERING Studio, a software environment aimed to digitalize systems engineering capabilities.
The SES ENGINEERING Studio was designed with the intention to properly manage the System Lifecycle, from inception to retirement. It works providing PLM capabilities by connecting already existing software tools dedicated to managing ISO 15288 and ISO 29110 technical processes (IBM DOORS, CAPELLA, Siemens Polarion, Siemens Teamcenter Requirements, DS CAMEO, IBM Rhapsody, Simulink, MS Excel, MS Word, etc.).
The TRACEABILITY Management Capability of the SES ENGINEERING Studio allows the SES ENGINEERING Studio to manage and assign traces, to discover automatically missing traces among different types of traced documents, visualize graphically the impact analysis prior to a change, use smart algorithms to manage suspicious traces when changes happen in the traced work items, import traces from different sources, and generate customizable traceability reports.
Traceability is a must in modern Systems Engineering. Without trace links, many key processes defined in the ISO/ IEEE 15288/12207 standards would be both inefficient and ineffective (V&V, requirements definition, architecture definition, design definition, risk management…). Traceability management is required when following ARP-4754, DO 254, DO-178, ISO 26262… and many other related guidelines and practices in different industries such as aerospace, defense, automotive, energy, or healthcare where a simple bi-dimensional traceability matrix created in a spreadsheet is not sufficient and difficult to maintain.
The TRACEABILITY Management Capability for the SES ENGINEERING Studio enables the definition and implementation of trace links between two sources of information of whatever type, thus breaking the borders among tools and removing typology limitations of multiple heterogeneous types.
Increase the value of a professional traceability module compared with basic matrices in a spreadsheet.
Use the SMART algorithms of TRACEABILITY Management Capability to facilitate the labor of the engineers by means
of automatic traceability suggestions.
TRACEABILITY Management Capability can connect to multiple tools and file formats, thus reducing the need of changing your current set of tools to enable heterogeneous
Managing Traceability with an Agnostic perspective
The SES ENGINEERING Studio provides a framework for managing traceability links between multiple types of work items, tools, and file formats, covering whatever pair of electronic engineering items accessible through the advanced connection mechanism implemented in the tool (requirements tools, modelling tools, MS Office…). Current Systems Engineering practice implies almost always managing ecosystems of many different computer tools; in this context, providing electronic traceability between heterogeneous and formerly unconnected engineering tools becomes an “interoperability” challenge that can now be easily managed with SES ENGINEERING Studio.
Traceability made easy
Once a traceability module is created between two sources of information, individual traces can be created with the click of a button. No need to open the source tools, add strange symbols, learn regular expressions… Just select a source item, a target item, and click to establish the trace.
Tailoring traceability within the SES ENGINEERING Studio
The SES ENGINEERING Studio is designed to solve the standard and classical traceability problems within a SE-oriented organization. However, in those cases where the existing “out-of-the-box” functionality that is provided with the tool does not fully fit with an organization’s needs, the SES ENGINEERING Studio can be seamless tailored and adapted to those needs: custom types of traces, custom reports, custom suggestions of traces, custom connectors to other tools or file formats.
Functional description of the traceability management capability
The TRACEABILITY Management Capability for the SES ENGINEERING Studio connects to a vast number of Systems Engineering tools (Requirements Management Systems, Modelling tools, ALM/PLMs…) either through a native connector, or by parsing any kind of serialized file (XML, plain text…). Connection to other sources like Microsoft Word or Excel are also implemented, thus maximizing the number of elements that can be managed and traced.
A traceability project includes any number of traceability modules. A traceability module represents a bi-directional connection between two sources, together with specific types of links. Even if the most common types of links are already included out-of-the-box (derives, verifies, satisfies…), the link types can be easily customized by the user at any moment.
Creating a new trace cannot be easier. Once a traceability module is opened, the items of both source and target container are shown in the screen. Select the source and target for the trace, and the trace is registered. No need to open different tools, include manually the IDs of the traced elements, learn regular expressions… The click of a button is enough to create a new trace.
The links handled by the SES ENGINEERING Studio are managed outside of the source applications and therefore do not affect the normal operation of the original tools in their native environment. Thus, your original sources will remain identified and connected in the SES ENGINEERING Studio, which also allows for the identification of suspect traces when any of the traced items is modified or even removed.
The SES ENGINEERING Studio includes a semantic discovery function to identify possible missing traces among different types of elements. Natural Language Processing and Artificial Intelligence can work together to identify those missing traces. This mechanism can be easily tailored by means of a number of different discovery methods, that might take different parameters. For advanced users, a programming environment is also available.
Summing up, SES ENGINEERING Studio is a scalable, flexible and customizable tool, allowing users to customize connectors to new types of sources, customized MS Word reports, and customized functions to retrieve links from external sources.
Traceability projects, modules and links
The TRACEABILITY Management Capability organizes traceability using three types of entities: tractability projects, traceability modules, and eventually links. A traceability project defines a framework for managing traceability from a particular perspective, such as a safety view. A module defines traceability between two defined sources of information, for example, between a requirements module in IBM DOORS and a physical model in Open Modelica. Finally, the traceability module is populated with trace links, of different types, that point to the selected items of both sources of information.
Manage traceability dynamics: suspect traces
The SES ENGINEERING Studio supports the notion of suspect links. In principle, a suspect link identifies changes occurred between linked engineering items after they were connected. In that case, the SES ENGINEERING Studio labels the link as suspect (inconsistent) and allows the engineer to resolve the link by either recovering or removing it. Descriptive comments can be included in the recover/remove operation thus allowing to keep track of the evidence along the lifecycle.
Traceability must be unlimited: needs access to all types of engineering items
The SES ENGINEERING Studio provides an advanced connectivity capability, allowing connections to be established among most of the System Engineering tools ecosystems. This module creates connections to various sources either by configuring connection files or by offering a common connection environment based on a new paradigm promoted by The REUSE Company: The System Representation Language (SRL). Whatever tool environment supporting SRL interface can be connected to the The SES ENGINEERING Studio, thereby providing, among others, traceability capabilities to the information it contains.
Suggested links - finds missing links for you
The SES ENGINEERING Studio supports the discovery of candidate links, providing engineers with the means to define trace links based on her/his own criteria. This feature is based on a semantic similarity search tool, capable of analyzing the name of the model elements, as well as the meaning of textual descriptions like in requirements, test cases, risk definitions… In other cases, trace links can be suggested automatically by running semantic algorithms that make use of additional information like Product Breakdown Structures, Functional Breakdown Structures, or other kinds of models. The SES ENGINEERING Studio provides some of these algorithms out-of-the-box and allows custom algorithms to be added afterward.
Once the SES ENGINEERING Studio suggests those new links, the user decides whether or not he/ she wants to include them together with the rest of the existing links.
The SES ENGINEERING Studio also comes with an add-in for MS Word. When creating a traceability custom report, this add-in includes a ribbon that allows you to easily drag &drop fields that correspond to the actual information in your traceability project (this includes not only fields, but also matrices and charts). Create the template once and instantiate it as many times as you need for your different traceability projects.
SES ENGINEERING Studio includes a number of tools based on Natural Language Processing and Artificial Intelligence that can automatically suggest new or missing traces, also discriminating changes in the linked items to eliminate unnecessary operations to discard suspicious links.
Traceability capabilities within the SES SYSTEMS ENGINEERING Suite
The TRACEABILITY Management Capability is just a part of the full ecosystem of capabilities offered by the SES ENGINEERING Studio to help engineers deal with Systems engineering processes, either the technical ones (Requirements Definition, Architecture Definition, Design Definition, etc.) or the technical management ones (Quality Assurance, Configuration Management, Risk Management,…).
- Any item managed by the SES ENGINEERING Studio can be traced, as well as any external item that can be connected by the tool.
- The patterns created in KM – KNOWLEDGE Management can be used as SMART tools to suggest new traces.
- RQA – QUALITY and V&V Management capabilities can use this traces to enable quality verification rules and metrics.