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What is the purpose of the Requirement Traceability Matrix?

The requirement traceability matrix (RTM) document or a tool plays a vital role in IT project management.

There are several types of requirements in project management that should be considered throughout the software development life cycle. The primary purpose of the requirement traceability matrix (RTM) is to keep track of the requirement, its source, trace the shifts, and how the requirement will be delivered throughout the project life cycle.

The Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM) is a tool or a project document that helps project managers and BAs to establish and track the project progress. This document guarantees that the scope and deliverables of the project are in line with the baseline. It ensures the fulfilment of the various project requirements.

Traceability Matrix is used in different phases of the project lifecycle, such as

  • The Requirements Analysis and Specification phase
  • Design Analysis and Specification phase
  • Risk Analysis phase
  • Unit Testing & Integration Testing
  • System Testing
  • Functional Testing

A simple way is to trace the requirement of clients with its corresponding test scenarios and test cases. This merely is termed as ‘Requirement Traceability Matrix.’  IT ensures the success of product testing. 

Benefits of RTM:-

1.Meeting goals-

Traceability should last the duration of a requirement if done correctly. It begins when a necessity first appears. And it keeps going till the condition is met. Therefore, it ensures that your needs accomplish your initial objectives. It provides evidence, for instance, that you complied with compliance standards.

2.Conducting the Correct Tests

The quality assurance (QA) team will better understand what needs to be tested thanks to requirement traceability. By connecting test cases to individual requirements, this increases test coverage. As a result, QA will be able to test everything appropriately. You’ll be able to demonstrate that your requirements have been correctly implemented as a result.

3.Making Choices

Throughout the entire product development process, decision-making can also be based on traceability. You’ll be able to comprehend how requirements will affect product design. Additionally, you will be able to assess the effects of any requirement changes on the entire development process.

4. Managing Projects

Additionally helpful for project management is traceability. You’ll be able to measure your development precisely. Additionally, you’ll have control over the size of your requirements. You’ll comprehend how you can actually achieve those criteria and still ship on schedule by connecting your needs to tests.


RTM  provides documentation to the team members and helps to check if all the requirements are accurately documented and in case of any missing requirement it draws the attention of team members.

  1. The steps to create RTM:-
  2. Define your objectives
  3. Bring together all the documents (FRD, BRD, and technical documentation)
  4. Use excel or any convenient tool to create RTM
  5. Record each requirement with Requirement ID.
  6. Record every business requirement from FRD
  7. Design and assign test case ID to each requirement.
  8. Reflect the changes in requirement or updation in RTM whenever required.


You now understand the significance of requirement traceability. Poor traceability can make it challenging to manage projects, conduct effective testing, make decisions, and accomplish objectives.  As all the features are tested, traceability matrix ensures good application “Quality.” Software can be tested for unknown circumstances while maintaining a low defect rate and meeting all functional and non-functional requirements.

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