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What is the purpose of the Requirement Traceability Matrix? 

A Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM) is a tool that helps to track the progress of the project and helps in identifying and maintaining the status of project’s requirements and deliverables.


RTM is basically a document to amp all the requirements of the project and track the progress of different stages of SDLC.

For every stage be it Requirement gathering, Design ,Development,Implementation or testing we must know the status of each phase.This document is shared with each of the stakeholders so that they are aware of the current status of the project.




An RTM ensures that everything is included in order to complete the project. This step-by-step process helps in identifying the requirements and can be tested successfully. It also drives the project’s direction and timeline.

The RTM tracks all stages and status of a project and helps the stakeholders and teams to analyse the changes in the requirements and take informed decisions to complete project on time.RTM also keeps a checks on the UAT status before the final deployment.

RTM links the various stages with the artifacts, it helps teams identify and resolve issues before they become problems.In short RTM helps in managing projects and meeting the goals.

The Requirements Traceability Matrix is usually developed during the initial stage of requirements gathering and is updated simultaneously with the newly-developed design specifications and test protocols. Ideally, every step in the project life cycle should be traced with requirements that are specific to that particular step.

RTM measures the accuracy of the project ensuring the defect free deliverables.

RTM works in both waterfall as well as in agile methodologies . In the waterfall approach, it helps to trace and verify requirements sequentially,whereas in Agile it captures user stories between product and sprint backlog.

It helps the Project Managers to build the plan of action for the project and also helps in estimating the resource requirements on the basis of project activities, so that the project is delivered on time.Request for additional resources can be put up well in time to avoid further delays in the completion of project.

Types Of RTM:

There are three key types of requirement traceability matrices which used in tracing requirements.

Forward traceability:

This kind of matrix is usually created at the beginning of a project to ensure that the product is progressing in the right direction. The term “forward traceability” means the mapping of requirements to test cases.

2.Backward or reverse traceability:

Backward traceability matches the test cases to requirements. In helps managers to track out the origin of a request. The idea here is to ensure that the project scope does not change as a result of the addition of codes, design components, tests, or other activities which are not stated in the initial requirements.

Bi-directional traceability:

It is termed as bi-directional as it tracks the requirement “forward” by looking at the output of the deliverables and “backward” by examining the requirement specified in the project initiation phase. It provides teams with complete visibility into specifications through building, testing, tracking changes, analyzing defects etc.

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