Requirements Traceability Matrix : Everything You Need to Know

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Mar 26, 2021

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Detailed Guide to Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM)

The requirements traceability matrix which is in short called as RTM that helps the testers know that nothing is missed in the test cases. We know that the testing is the most important phase of the SDLC or any programs where the quality is sustained.

Testing includes static and dynamic, the former is when the code is not introduced to any environment. The latter is done when the code is in the testing or production environment. Manual testing involves checking the code manually and automation is done with the help of testing tools. The RTM in testing covers all of these in a formally made text file. 

Every aspiring Project manager must understand how to make this. It is because the PM is expected to make this after carefully understanding the end user's needs. The PM will discuss with the QA team to make this file and keep checking at every phase for a successful delivery. In fact, it is one of the key roles of the PM. This document is not only about the requirements testing but includes functionality, security, unit, system, user acceptance, integration, and regression testing. In this blog let us learn what it is, what are the different types, how to create one by understanding all the parameters included in it.

Introduction of Requirement Traceability Matrix

RTM consists of all the features of the codes and is traced against the measures that require testing. Once this is developed it is maintained throughout the testing phase until the completed code goes to release and gets deployed in production. Sometimes even during the stages of the operation, this matrix is used to compare the code in the production with the customer expectation.

It is prepared as part of the planning phase for the SDLC life cycle when the tech and functional requirements are made accessible to the team. Testing is done for all the products in the SDLC which requires knowledge in manual and automated testing. 

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What Parameters are Included in the RTM?

The parameters included are 

- Defects

- Defects ID

- Defects Status and Requirement Coverage Status, etc. 

- Results

- Test cases, design and the designers name

- Types and Description

- Types of Test cases

- UAT Test Requirement

The UAT test requirements can be further divided into Dev environment, Testing Environment, and Production Environments. You can also include the Types of Testing and its Test Results in the matrix. The RTM ensures the following

1) The status of the results of the test

2) The scenarios and test cases

3) The results of the test cases etc.

4) The execution results cases and design results cases

5) The current state of the software testing

6) The coverage of the requirement in the testing

This is the one-point stop for all the testing activities in the SDLC. To learn more on the requirements traceability matrix enroll for the PMP certification training.

A sample Requirement Traceability Matrix is shown in the diagram below:

requirements traceability matrixHow to Create Requirement Traceability Matrix

The Requirement Traceability Matrix is created as per the steps given below.

1) Create the scenarios and test cases from the Business Requirements Document (BRD), Functional Requirements Document (FRD) and Technical Specification Document (TSD).

2) Have an individual ID for each of the test cases in the RTM.

3) Make sure you have the results column that documents that the test cases are Pass or Fail.

4) Types of Testing is noted in one of the columns

5) Defects along with the defect ID are captured in the 2 columns in the RTM document.

These are the basis for creating the RTM document. The business needs are understood by the project managers and the testing manager, and then it is broken down into many numbers of small specifications for the product. Similarly, the technical specification document is studied and is made from the high-level BRD is broken down into smaller specifications for the entire team to understand and make the design of the product. Testing is done by making the scenarios and test cases from the BRD and TSD documents. Even the functional requirements document is helpful in many cases to develop the RTM document. StarAgile conducts PMP online course training with the help of leading industry consultants that cover the RTM preparation study. The steps to create the RTM is as follows,

Advantages and Importance of RTM

The following are the benefits of creating and using the RTM,

1) It helps in analyzing and identifying the inconsistencies in the SDLC and other documents such as BRD, FRD and TSD, etc.

2) It helps in identifying the current state of the product testing concerning the requirement.

3) It helps out in capturing the defects in the products.

4) It helps in identifying the current status and progress of the product and the project

5) It helps in realigning the requirement to the scope of the project.

6) It helps in meeting the exact scope of the projects by avoiding scope expansion and scope reduction.

7) It helps in enhancing the quality of the products.

Importance of Requirements Traceability Matrix

The RTM is important to ensure that there is hundred percent requirement coverage, the quality of the software is the best, there are no defects, code is error-free and all other factors in the testing phase are met for the code. The Requirement Traceability Matrix defines all the scenarios as well as the test cases of the software in development with the current state of whether the software test cases are failed/ passed. The test cases are either positive test cases or negative test cases. These test cases and scenarios are developed from the needs of the customer to ensure they meet the goals the customer wants as part of the functionality, security, technical, and all other aspects such as the design and the aesthetics are met by the software in production. 

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Types of Requirements of Matrix 

Backward or Reverse – This ensures whether the current product is in the correct track concerning the completion and the requirement stated by the customer. It maps test cases to the requirement. This ensures that the scope of the SDLC is not expanded or minimized in all the phases of the SDLC.

Forward – It maps the requirement to the test cases. It assures that the project progresses in the right path and for the right products. It also makes sure all the necessities of the product are satisfied and is applied during the SDLC.

Backward and Forward Matrix or the Bi-directional Matrix – This ensures that all the requirements are met in the test cases and the product is passed with all the parameters such that there are no fails in the product.


As you have seen that the RTM is very important in meeting the testing objectives and to bring the overall quality enhancement in the products. The StarAgile conducts project management professional certification that discusses in detail the RTM. StarAgile is the training partner with Project Management Institute (PMI) for conducting the PMP certification online training. 


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