Kostal finalises ASPICE Assessment successfully with YAKINDU Traceability

"YAKINDU Traceability supports all relevant traceability requirements from Automotive SPICE and helps users to create and maintain trace links efficiently."

Lars Ostwald
Senior Manager Software Engineering Process, Kostal


Kostal is a 1-tier Automotive supplier and thus has to comply to certain process and security standards. In order to comply to Automotive SPICE Level 3, Kostal was searching for a solution to fulfil the respective requirements traceability obligations. They met several challenges with the existing tool chain and development process.

Kostal uses DOORS for requirements management. Previously they stored additional data related to architectural, design, or test artifacts as surrogates in DOORS in order to maintain the necessary traceability links. The resulting trace data was exported to a database and analysed with SQL queries. This solution had several shortcomings: scalability issues with large projects, consistency issues because of redundant data, unstable and error prone tool integrations, as well as difficulties to analyse the exported trace data due to missing capabilities of SQL.

Fast and successful implementation of YAKINDU Traceability

After some market research Kostal finally decided to go with YAKINDU Traceability from itemis. Starting with a first proof of concept, itemis supported the successful implementation in several mass-production projects. The capability of YAKINDU Traceability to store trace links in an invasive way allowed Kostal to use most of the development artifacts unchanged. That was possible, because most artifacts already contained “foreign keys”. As a result, the implementation of the solution was very fast and without the usual obstructions occurring, if you are forced to change existing artifacts.

"itemis solved all issues during the implementation of YAKINDU Traceability quickly and reliably."
Saskia Schwertfeger from Kostal

YAKINDU Traceability also supports to add and aggregate additional data to the trace links. In order to make the trace data available for data analysis and reporting, all trace links are regularly exported in a continuous integration procedure to an existing DB Schema. YAKINDU itself supports ad hoc analysis and metrics as well as role- and project-specific queries based on a powerful and easy to learn query language.

"YAKINDU Traceability’s query language helped us a lot to extract and show exactly the relevant trace data during the assessment."
Peter Lunova from Kostal

A good example of a role specific metric is a coverage metric, that allows one to identify necessary tasks for “uncovered” requirements – a very helpful support metric for project managers and the QA team. Project managers also really appreciated the support for impact analysis in the case of change requests. The QA team also benefit from backward traceability allowing them to see affected artifacts in the case of failed tests.

As a side effect, looking in detail at all existing artifacts and tools in the process helped to identify further process improvements.

Successful finalisation of ASPICE Assessment

At the end of the implementation Kostal successfully finalised the Automotive SPICE Level 3 assessment. Additionally, end users reported further benefits such as, the good usability of YAKINDU Traceability, and the easy-to-use support for navigating from one development artifact to all dependent ones. Both of which led to a higher efficiency.

Kostal plans to fully roll-out the solution in 2017 and is currently investigating the possibility of using YAKINDU Traceability in their non-automotive projects. itemis will further support Kostal with the implementation of additional sophisticated ad hoc metrics and role specific data analysis.

More feedback from Kostal

"With its flexible adapter technology, YAKINDU Traceability allows us to integrate and configure new tools easily."

"The introduction of YAKINDU Traceability led to a much better transparency of the progress of project. We especially like the support for the different impact analyses."