Why Traceability Is Important for Project Data
12 Apr, 2022
Although traceability is important for all types of projects, many projects still do not have it implemented. This can be due to various reasons, such as the cost or complexity of implementing a solution. However, it can be challenging to identify and reverse issues that may occur during production or operation without traceability. In this article, we discuss the importance of traceability and its benefits.
What is traceability?
Traceability is the ability to track or trace a data point’s history, application, or location. In organisations, employees can use traceability to track documents, products, components, and processes. For example, during the requirements review process, it is important to be able to trace which requirement was changed and when. This information can help identify when a problem first occurred and who was responsible for the change.
Why is traceability important?
It is important to know where it came from and how a team made it when working with a product. Traceability helps you do this by providing a complete history. This history includes information about the materials used to make the product, the suppliers of those materials, the dates when the product was made, the changes it has undergone, and any other relevant information. Below you find the reasons why traceability is essential in production and operation.
1. Quality control
Traceability is the ability to trace an item’s history, application, or location through recorded identification. Quality control is the process used to maintain standards in products and services. Traceability ensures quality control. By tracking the history of an item, organisations can identify any issues that may have arisen during production. This information can then be used to assess the quality.
Traceability can also be used to improve quality control procedures. By understanding where issues have arisen in the past, organisations can implement new procedures to prevent these issues from happening again. This helps to ensure that products are increasing in quality.
Additionally, traceability can help organisations to avoid liability in the event of a product recall. By tracking an item’s origins, organisations can quickly identify any products that may be affected by a recall. As a result, traceability plays an essential role in maintaining quality control in production and operation.
2. Risk mitigation
Traceability is essential to assessing and managing risk. For example, when a document’s history is uncertain, its current status and potential future revisions are too. This can lead to confusion and delays and put an organisation at risk of out-of-compliance penalties. A document’s traceability also helps ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page when risk mitigation is performed, making sure no extra risks are added.
By tracking a document’s journey from creation to disposal, everyone involved can be confident that they are working with the most up-to-date version. In today’s environment, where speed and agility are critical, traceability is essential to mitigating risk and ensuring success.
By tracking every step of the process, organisations can identify areas where they can improve efficiency. In some cases, this may mean streamlining the manufacturing process, and in other cases, it may mean increasing communication and coordination between different departments.
Secondly, by tracking changes in an automated way, you can get a clear overview of the current status of your project. You can also see which tasks take longer than planned and adjust your process accordingly. This helps to ensure that projects are completed on time and to the required standard.
Thirdly, manually asking who changed documents or other data items can also be costly. Project managers that can easily trace what has happened will save money by having less need for manual administration.
4. Data protection
Whether it’s sensitive customer information or proprietary company secrets, the potential for unauthorised access is a real concern. One way to help protect against data leaks is to ensure that all documents are traceable. That way, if a document does fall into the wrong hands, you’ll be able to track what happened and take steps to prevent it from happening again.
Proper traceability implies tracing who gave access, who had access, who changed data, who approved changes, etc. This helps create a complete audit trail that can be used to identify potential security breaches.
Next to securing from unauthorised moves, data protection also includes reversing moves made by mistake. If a document is accidentally deleted or changed, it can be restored from a previous version. This helps to reduce the risk of data loss and ensures that organisations can operate with confidence.
5. Comply with regulation
Traceability is especially important for organisations subject to regulatory requirements (such as ECSS and ISO). By ensuring that all documents are traceable, organisations can help to protect themselves from potential fines and penalties. Additionally, traceability can help organisations to demonstrate their compliance with regulatory requirements. This is especially important for organisations required to maintain a high level of quality control.
6. Trust of clients
Traceability also helps build trust with customers and clients, as they can be confident that their information is safe. When clients know data is being properly tracked and monitored, they will trust the company. This is especially important for companies that deal with sensitive information.
Traceability in documents
A document’s traceability measures how easy it is to determine its origins. In other words, it is a measure of how well the record can be traced back to its source. This is important because, in many cases, the source of a document is the key to understanding its contents. For example, a document that has been altered or tampered with may not be what it seems. By tracing the document back to its source, you can determine whether it has been appropriately changed.
Tracing document reviews
The document review process can be a time-consuming and daunting task, especially when there are numerous documents to review. However, by implementing a traceability system, document reviewers can keep track of the changes that have been made to each document and the rationale for those changes. Traceability systems help create a clear audit trail, which can be helpful in the event of a dispute. In addition, traceability systems can help document reviewers to identify patterns and trends in the data, which can be used to improve the quality of future reviews.
Traceability in change control
Change control is an essential part of any business or organisation, as it helps to ensure that changes are made in a controlled and safe manner. The stakeholders involved can easily see what has been changed and if the changes were done correctly.
By having traceability in place, organisations can be sure that all changes are made according to plan and that no unintentional changes are made that could potentially cause harm. In addition, traceability also helps to ensure that organisations can quickly revert to previous versions if necessary.
ECLIPSE Software Suite enables traceability
Within the ECLIPSE Suite, project managers can trace every move, data point and document back to its source. This provides full transparency and enables organisations to see the complete history of every item. We can provide you with a demo of our software so that you can see for yourself how it can benefit your organisation.