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What is the purpose of the Requirement Traceability Matrix?

A challenging aspect of project management is keeping track of requirements.
There can be different types of requirements such as Business requirements, UI requirements, Functional and nonfunctional requirements, Technical requirements.
Information about requirements, tests, test results, and issues is typically included in it. It is also called as RTM. It is a document that maps requirements. Requirements traces with the test cases. It contains all the requirements requested by client to do in the project. The primary objectives of the Requirement Traceability Matrix are to ensure that all requirements are validated via test cases such that no functionality is left unchecked during software testing
In RTM, all requirements as proposed by the client are captured and traced in one document at the end of the project life cycle.
In addition to defect severity, priority, and others, a traceability matrix allows you to filter defects that are associated with crucial requirements.
To make a simple RTM document, you can use an Excel spreadsheet. A significant reason project managers use RTM is to confirm that all requirements will be taken into account during testing. Keep your traceability matrix up-to-date whenever there is a change. Basically, it maps user requirements with test cases so that adequate levels of testing are performed for all requirements. The Traceability process involves reviewing all the test cases for an individual requirement. It is also known as a metric that indicates the number of Test Cases that have been Run, Passed, Failed and Blocked for every requirement. RTM is a planning tool that allows organizations to determine the number of test cases needed, the type of tests required, and whether they can be automated or require manual procedures.

Importance of RTM:

  • Ensure that the output product is defect-free by understanding the client’s requirements. During testing, a tester should focus on understanding the client’s requirements and making sure there are no issues or bugs. In order to accomplish this goal, every QA should thoroughly understand the requirement and design positive and negative test cases.
  • It is necessary to divide the client’s software requirements into different scenarios and then to test cases in order to be able to evaluate them. It is necessary to execute each of these cases separately.
  • Assure that the requirements of the project are met.
  • An example of a traceability matrix is a worksheet that includes the requirements as well as all possible test scenarios and cases, along with their current state (pass/fail). By analyzing such information, the testing team would be able to understand the level of testing done for that particular product.
  • The parameters for the RTM table are Requirement ID, Requirement Description, Requirement Name, Testing (Pass/Fail), UAT.
  • Requirement Traceability Matrix Format:
    Req ID Req Name Req description Design D1 T1 D2 T2 UAT
    FR0001 Login User must be able to login to access the application Done Pending No Yes Yes YES


  • In Requirement Traceability Matrix, Test cases should be displayed in order to show requirement coverage.
  • In Requirement Traceability Matrix, For each test case, both the design and execution status are available.
  • UAT status can also be captured in the matrix if the users need to perform User Acceptance Testing.

Advantages of Requirement Traceability Matrix

  • Ensures that all tests are covered 100%.
  • In terms of business requirements, it provides a detailed overview of defects or execution progress.
  • A QA team can use it to estimate the impact of revisiting or reworking test cases on their work.
  • If there are any missing requirements or inconsistencies in the documents, it highlights them.

Types of  Requirement Traceability Matrix:

1. Forward Traceability:
The requirements are mapped to test cases using forward traceability. This will enable complete testing of all requirements, as well as verifying that a project is on track.

2. Backward Traceability Matrix:
By mapping the test cases to the requirements, you can make a backward traceability matrix.
Keeping your initial requirements in mind prevents “scope creep” and unnecessarily expanding them.

3. Bidirectional Traceability:
The concept of bidirectional traceability combines forward and backward traceability into a single document.


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