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What is the purpose of the Requirement Traceability Matrix?

Requirement traceability matrix is a tabular document that is used to Keep a track of requirements in the development of SDLC.  It can be used to track backwards (from Coding to requirement) as well as forwards (from Requirements to Design or Coding). It also called as Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM) or Cross Reference Matrix are other names for it (CRM).

It is prepared before the testing execution process. We connect all of the requirements to their associated test cases in the RTM document to make sure that we have written all of the test cases for each condition.

What is RTM – It is the mapping of requirement to the test cases. Whenever we have the requirement and whenever we start the testing process so it is the document where we map requirement to the scenarios from scenarios to test cases and from test cases we map the defects. So this is the complete mapping document which talks about the complete mapping of requirements till test cases.

Advantages –

  1. Complete coverage of the testing; as we make sure that each requirement has at least on test case or more than one test case an test cases are mapped to the corresponding req.
  2. It helps us to find the root cause of the defects as it is mapped to the defects as well so from bugs we can find out like which test case it belongs to and from test case we can find out what is the scenario and from scenario what is the requirement. So, we can reach to root cause of the req.
  3. It makes sure that the program/ requirements fully satisfy the customer’s needs.
  4. It helps to identify the missing functionality easily and accordingly we can change the req.
  5. It also helps to identifying the test cases which needs to be updated in case of any change in requirement
  6. It is easy to track the overall test execution status in SDLC

So basically, we have 3 types of RTM.

  1. Forward Traceability – Forward traceability is used to map the requirements to the test cases. This will ensure that every requirement is being tested from top to bottom also it will also assist in confirming that a project’s trajectory is in line.  It ensures that the project progresses as per the desired direction and that every requirement is tested thoroughly.
  2. Backward Traceability Matrix – We can make backward traceability matrix by mapping test cases with the requirements. With this we can avoid scope creep and going beyond the initial requirements unnecessarily. Also it is used to check that we are not increasing the space of the product by enhancing the design element, code, or test which are not present in the business need.
  3. Bidirectional Traceability – Bidirectional traceability essentially combines forward and backward traceability into one document. This type is useful because it establishes that each requirement has relating test cases.  And also evaluates the modification in the req which is causing due to bus in the software.

A requirement traceability matrix can have below points.

  • Collect all the available requirement documents in a Proper sequence
  • Give a unique Requirement ID for each and every Requirement of the project
  • Create Test Cases for each and every requirement and link Test Case IDs to the respective Requirement ID
  • Show the number of test cases needed to cover all of the requirements.
  • For Every test case, there is a design status as well as well test execution status.
  • If users are required to perform User Acceptance Testing, the UAT status can be recorded in the same matrix.
  • In the same matrix, associated flaws and the current condition can be mentioned.

Tabular format is as below

Sr No Req. ID Req. Description Project objective TC Id TC Description Test Result Defect ID Defect status Status


RTM tools

Excel Spreadsheets

Word document

Visure Requirements

Modern Requirements4DevOps



After reading the above blog we must have understood that RTM usually helps to evaluate the impact of project requirements. When requirements shift or change in the middle of a project, RTM helps you to see the impacted workflows, Design; software code, test cases, training materials, etc.  This single document that serves the main purpose that no test cases are missed and thus every functionality of the application is covered and tested.

About Rohini Adhir Bokde

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