Traceable ID for Automated T/C Method?

How important it is, when dealing with automation framework? 
What are the consequence of not maintaining such a traceable identifier?

UX is not something that only customers / consumers must benefit, 
But also the delivery-team (test analysts, automation engineers & developers) too..!!

Investments on the project automation wont initiate mostly if the project is short term as we all know, as the ROI will be negligible. In other word, most the automation investments are initiated or done for long term projects.

Imagine a project that is going to be last for couple of year. The count of test-cases will gradually increase along with the time-line, When automating test-cases on a project which is gonna have a project scope for years. There are projects in industry that has more than thousand test cases, and even more within a period of one quarter or two quarters of a year, from the day of the project started. In some projects, though it is possible to 100% automate the test-cases, most of the time it is feasible to automate more than 80% at-least.

How important it is, when dealing with automation framework?

It is really crucial to maintain a Traceable ID to map the test case with the Test-method in test framework.

Ideally, most of the test-case management tool generates a Unique Test Case ID for each of the test case. In such cases the best practice is to make a code comment on top of the test method to specify the Test Cases Id, as a Traceable ID. Even after years, if there is a requirement change happen, knowingly what test case / test cases the change impacts on, with a small click on Find or Find in Path based on the IDE you interact with, it will be easier to trace the place or method in the code suite you need to make an amendment, or a change.

But; What if the test-case management tool is not generating a test case id, or if the test cases are maintaining in Excel Sheets or in Wiki? There is no other option that maintaining a Unique Traceable ID for each test case manually and use it in the code comment on top of the test method too.

As long as if you will be there from the start of the project as an AE, you might feel like why do i need to put an extra effort to code comment an ID, if you know the particular class the test case is in and the method name of the test case? True, You know it. But;

What if you had to change the project, or what if someone else has to take over your roll some-day? Think-a-miniute! Will you be able pass that knowledge from a KT session? for a project lasted for years with test case count of more than thousands? Simply, Impossible!!!

That’s where maintaining the Unique Test Case ID / Traceable ID in your test method comment comes important and crucial.

What are the consequence of not maintaining such a traceable identifier?

If you haven’t maintain such an Traceable ID; 
The person who take over the role will might have to spend considerable amount of time to locate the test cases related test methods to do may be a small changes.

Every minute we work are considered as billable hours most of the time, and the time which get waste without a reason just to locate a method, can be used instead for something productive, or to take a small mind-break to refresh.

Imaging a moment a new comer, has to do amendments for more than 20 test-cases due to a requirement change for a particular PBI or US. Consider locating each test method related to a test case consumes at-least five minutes (no traceable id is documented in the code comment to use the Find functionality).

In the best-case, keeping the worst-case apart, only for locating the test cases the duration the person might have to invest from his productive hours though it didn't waste in one go?
Ex: 5*20 minutes = 100 minutes = 1 hour and 40 minutes

Most of the time, wasted duration wont ever count during Sprint planing or Effort estimation; unless the person raise the voice. But why ? 
Why we leave a burden to some one either to raise a voice or to bear the burden? Why we at-least keep a small hassle for an another person, if we can complete our responsibility perfectly?

Typing the Traceable ID in a code comment while creating the the test method will consume another 5 seconds more additionally. But to locate it back, without the ID, will consumes more than 5 minutes. 
Whats more worthier? Think-a-Minute!

Remember :
Always, a ‘PATCH’ is not a good practice to finish the work on deadline. It is the responsibility of all the engineer to maintain a proper guideline in code management, document every necessary detail [Day-to-Day Or Sprint-wise if Agile], where any new comer/replacement of yours can even grab the domain and the work you did within few hours of simple effort!

Closing note:
Maintaining a Unique Traceable ID between the Test-Cases and the Test-Methods is Vital, specially in the long run!

PBI — Product backlog Item 
US — User Story
AE — Automation Engineer