Intelligent Traceability For ISO 26262

One of the most challenging aspects of traceability is the management of lifecycle data and linking that data to requirements.


Requirements driven development is a foundational component of any safety critical lifecycle, including ISO 26262, the state-of-the-art standard guiding safety in the development of automotive electronic devices. At face value, requirements seem like a very straight forward concept.

  1. Project teams write requirements.
  2. Requirements are implemented into the product.
  3. The product is tested to ensure the requirements have been met.

Simple enough, right?

Feedback from industry practitioners paint a much different picture. The ground truth is that there are a whole host of challenges that project teams face and many of those challenges are rooted in inadequate requirements practices.

Fortunately, ISO 26262 has provided some guidance in the management of requirements, an example being ISO 26262:2018-8 Clause 6. The guidance covers requirement notation, attributes of a safety requirement, and the management of requirements, but even with this information, project teams still face a host of challenges, including:

  • Enforcing good requirement structure to make certain they are unambiguous, comprehensible, atomic, feasible, and verifiable.
  • Configuring workflows which support requirement reviews, approvals, impact analysis, and more.
  • The capturing and decomposition of requirements both within a project and across the supply chain.
  • Tracing requirements to the lifecycle artifacts proving the requirement is satisfied (more on this later).

Addressing these challenges is further complicated by the rapid growth in complexity for silicon and systems. Project teams must often manage thousands of requirements and the lifecycle data supporting those requirements. Recognizing this, the ISO 26262 standard committee went so far as to recommend the use of requirements management tools.

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