When you begin a new effort with traceability in mind, it makes everything flow. From needs, to requirements, to design, to coding, to verification - you can be certain that you have captured everything. It is a great feeling to really "own" a process that you have seen produce stellar results again and again.
Lots of programmers like to "just code". We have found that it is the steps that lead up to coding that create the most lasting value. So take a step back from your coding language of choice and start with a better process!
You say, "That's great - but I am already behind. My boss gave me this crazy deadline!" I get it! I've been there (all too recently). I had a project where we were desparately trying to hit a due date. In the midst of the frenzy, I cut some corners on our process. And, you know what - it bit us! The process is not there by accident. It is there becasue it works. Now, we are methodically going back on that project and using the process - and the results are much better.
No one is going to look at your software in 5 years and say "Hey! Look at that code! That's the software what was 3 weeks late!" But, if they will still remember you if the software is clunky or doesn't do what it's supposed to do. So take your time. Make it right. And proceed with excellence!
You can learn more about the software process in our webcast on the topic. Fo now, let me encourage you to consider this set of documentation in everything you do:
1) Create a numbered requirements document
2) Create a design document that references the numbers in the requirements (this assures design coverage of all requirements)
3) Annotate your code with the numbers from requirements (this assures implementation coverage of all requirements)
4) Conduct your unit, system and final verification testing against the numbered requriements (this assures that you got it right)
If you are in the thick of it right now. Let me encourage you - take a deep breath... go into your customer's office... and show them a plan for how you are going to use solid process to make things right. Both you and your end usere will be glad you did!