In General the term “Traceability” means the ability to follow up on something (can be anything of your interest which ranges from files, product, food, movies etc.) in a chronological order to get some information on it.

Definition of Requirements Traceability:

“Requirements Traceability” is the process of studying about the life of Requirements i.e., its origin, its development phase and its subsequent usage. Usually traceability is done in following ways:

  • Forward Traceability: Here firstly the requirements are collected and then those requirements are mapped to test cases to ensure proper evolution of the product.
  • Backward Traceability: Here the process is done in reverse way i.e., test cases are mapped to the requirements to check whether the final product has met the requirements or not.


Where and why it is used:

Requirements traceability is usually done in all the companies in order to meet certain standards while developing their products.

For instance let us consider an IT company:  Requirements Traceability is followed in IT companies while developing an application to ensure quality and standards. If an IT company is planning to develop a Security related application it needs to be audited at every stage of development in order to get a Robust and error free application.This is the point where Requirements Traceability plays a crucial role.

  How It is used:

Requirements Traceability can be done in multiple ways according to the need and type of project involved. The following are some of the techniques

  1. Traceability Matrix
  2. Traceability Graph
  3. List
  4. Hyperlinks

Any of the above mentioned techniques are used to trace requirements even sometimes companies use combination of these techniques.

Now let us discuss the most popular and widely used technique among these four i.e., Traceability Matrix also called as RTM (Requirements Traceability            Matrix).

Requirements traceability matrix is a one complete document usually in a tabular structure which encloses all the details of collected requirements from the client, their trace throughout the project and co-relation between different high level requirements in a single document.

Some of the important parameters included in RTM are:

  • Requirement ID
  • Risks
  • Trace to design specification
  • Requirement type and description etc…

Given below is one of the examples of how RTM looks.


About A.Aditya Pavan Kumar

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