Save Time, Money and Effort with Requirements Traceability Matrix
Wikipedia defines traceability matrix as “a document, usually in the form of a table that correlates any two
baselined documents that require a many-to-many relationship to determine the completeness of the
relationship.” Also known as Requirements Traceability Matrix or RTM it is a kind of a map that helps to locate
information easily. In short, with a traceability matrix, the software development team can assure themselves
that each and every approved requirement has been addressed properly.
Each phase in a software development life cycle has its own importance with requirement analysis being a
critical factor to the success of a software project .The purpose of RTM is to map relationships between
requirements and other related requirements, between business needs and corresponding requirements and
between requirements and various deliverables. Karl Weigers, a famous author and software consultant, in his
book ‘Software Requirements’ writes about different means of managing requirements for a software or
systems project. According to him, a requirement may be traced in one of four distinct ways,
“Customer needs are traced forward to requirements, so that you can tell which requirements will
be affected if those needs change.
Conversely, you can trace backward from requirements to customer needs to identify the origin of
each software requirement.
You can trace forward from requirements by defining links between individual requirements and
specific product elements.
Specific product elements [may be traced] backward to requirements so that you know why each
item was created.”
The traceability matrix contains elements such as project name, project manager name, project description,
customer needs, functional requirement, status, design document, technical specification, system components,
software modules, test case number, tested in, implemented in, verification and so on.
With so many best of the breed requirements management tools available that provide traceability matrix
view, software development team can easily get a complete visual representation of the entity items that are
linked to one another by means of the relationships. With this traceability matrix, the user can choose a
relation first and based on the relation selected, the user can choose customized filters for each of the entity
associated with the relation that imposes a level of filtration of the linked records. The records of one entity are
displayed row-wise while those of others are displayed column-wise.
Additionally, over the filtration imposed, the user can select the records that he/she would like to display. The
available options are: All, All with the orphans (having no linked records using this selected relation) highlighted
only orphans, and Records that have linked records only.
As this matrix allows the user to create new, edit, delete relationships and clear impacts from the matrix itself,
software development team can easily ensure that the customer gets what one has requested. Besides, they
save time, money and effort which would have otherwise lost due to duplicate research, backtracking and lost
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