Course Process

Requirement Traceability Matrix(RTM)

The Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM) is a document that links requirements throughout the validation process. The purpose of the Requirements Traceability Matrix is to trace the requirements to the tests to ensure that all requirements defined for a system are tested and verified.

The traceability matrix is used by the validation team to ensure that requirements are not lost during the validation process, and for auditors to review the validation documentation.


Why RTM is needed?

Each requirement needs to be tested considering positive as well as negative scenario’s, thus testers need to create positive as well as negative test cases. The defects identified while executing these test cases need to be traced back to test cases. Thus, the Requirement Traceability Matrix helps to link the requirements to Test scenarios, Test cases, and defects.

It assures that all the functionality of the software is tested and satisfied all requirements. The traceability matrix is a worksheet that contains the requirements which will be mapped with corresponding test scenarios and cases with the execution status of each test case.

If any defect is identified while executing the test case then the status of the test case is marked as Fail and Defect is mapped with a test case in the requirement matrix.


How to prepare Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM):

  • Collect all the artifacts needed in order to create Requirements Traceability Matrix:
    • Requirements
    • Test cases
    • Test results
    • Bugs
  • Ensure each requirement has a unique identification ID.
  • Create Test Cases for each and every requirement and link Test Case IDs to the respective Requirement ID.
  • Prepare a traceability matrix template. It can be created in an excel spreadsheet where each artifact is captured in different columns. The column in the excel is as below:

    UserStory ID Test Scenario ID Test Case ID Test Case Status Defect ID Defect Status Owner
  • The next step is to map all the requirements with test scenarios, test cases, test results, defect (if any), defect status, and owner name. Ensure requirement, test scenarios, test cases and defects have unique ID’s. 
  • Update the traceability matrix whenever there is a change in the requirements or whenever a new test case is added or a new defect is reported.


Different types of RTM

There are 3 different types of Requirements Traceability Matrix:

Forward Traceability:

This document is used to map the requirements to the test cases. This will help in ensuring that all the requirements are tested thoroughly. It will also ensure that the project is moving in the right direction

Backward Traceability:

When the test cases are mapped with the requirements, then a Backward Traceability Matrix is created. This will help in making sure that the scope of the project is not getting extended by adding additional features or functionality that was not a part of the original requirements.

Bidirectional Traceability

When the requirements are mapped to test cases for “Forward traceability” and test cases are mapped to requirements for “Backward traceability” in a single document, it is called a Bidirectional Traceability Matrix. This document helps in ensuring that all the specified requirements have corresponding test cases and vice versa.


Advantage of Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM)

  1. 100% test coverage
  2. It helps in Identifying coverage gaps
  3. It helps in Identifying the missing requirement
  4. It helps in Identifying the test cases which needs to be updated in case of a change in requirement
  5. It is easy to track the overall test execution status


Example of  RTM

UserStory ID Test Scenario ID Test Case ID Test Case Status Defect ID Defect Status Owner
US_1 TS_26 TC_04 Fail D_RFP_01 Fixed  
TS_31 TC_21 Pass      
TS_31 TC_05 Pass      
US_2 TS_192 TC_25 Fail D_RFP_02 Open  
TS_193 TC_50 Pass      

In this way user stories are mapped with Test cases, Test case status, Defect Id, and Defect status.