Traceability has always been considered a useful but costly activity and different methods have been applied to reduce this cost. The current paper constitutes an attempt to improve these methods by introducing an optimal traceability process to be used in the context of RTCA DO-297 “Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) Development Guidance and Certification Considerations”.The paper starts by comparing the definitions of traceability from DO-297 and the related development guidelines (i.e. ARP4754A, DO-254 and DO-178B). The paper continues by classifying the traceability methods recommended by the guidelines and introducing a performance criterion for optimal traceability based on category theory. This criterion addresses the possibility of information loss present in the current traceability methods. The paper proposes an optimal traceability process (i.e. that guarantees that information is not lost) and exemplifies it. The paper ends by recommending further enhancements.