Requirement Traceability Matrix, How to prepare?

A Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM) is a document that links requirements throughout the development life cycle. It helps ensure that each requirement is addressed in the project and provides a way to track changes and verify that they are properly implemented. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to prepare a Requirement Traceability Matrix:

requirement traceability matrix
requirement traceability matrix

A Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM) is a document that helps to ensure that all the requirements of a project are met. It is a tool used in project management that helps to track the requirements throughout the project lifecycle.

To prepare an RTM, you need to start by listing all the requirements of the project. These requirements may come from various sources such as the project charter, stakeholder interviews, or business analysis reports. Once you have the requirements listed, the next step is to organize them in a table format.

The table should have the following columns: requirement ID, requirement description, source, status, and test case ID. The requirement ID is a unique identifier assigned to each requirement. The requirement description column should contain a detailed description of the requirement. The source column should indicate where the requirement came from. The status column should indicate whether the requirement is approved, pending, or rejected. The test case ID column should contain the ID of the test case that verifies that the requirement is met.

Once you have created the RTM, it is important to keep it updated throughout the project lifecycle. This will help to ensure that all the requirements are met and that the project is completed on time and within budget.

Step 1: Define Requirements

  1. Gather Requirements:
    • Collect all project requirements from various stakeholders.
    • Ensure that requirements are clear, complete, and unambiguous.

Step 2: Create the Matrix

  1. Create a Table:
    • Use a spreadsheet tool (like Excel) or any other document editor.
    • Create a table with columns such as:
      • Requirement ID
      • Requirement Description
      • Source (where the requirement came from, e.g., user, stakeholder, document)
      • Status (e.g., Proposed, Approved, Implemented, Verified, Closed)
      • Test Cases (related test cases for validation)
      • Remarks/Comments

Step 3: Identify Relationships

  1. Link Requirements:
    • Connect each requirement to the corresponding design elements, test cases, and other relevant items.
    • Identify dependencies and relationships between requirements.

Step 4: Track Changes

  1. Change Management:
    • Include a column for tracking changes to requirements.
    • Document when a requirement is added, modified, or removed.

Step 5: Review and Approval

  1. Review and Approval Process:
    • Ensure that the RTM is reviewed by relevant stakeholders.
    • Obtain approval to proceed with the established traceability links.

Step 6: Update Regularly

  1. Regular Updates:
    • Keep the RTM updated throughout the project life cycle.
    • Update status, traceability links, and any changes promptly.

Step 7: Use Tools

  1. Utilize Tools:
    • Consider using specialized tools for traceability matrix management.
    • Some project management tools and requirements management tools offer built-in traceability features.

Step 8: Conduct Audits

  1. Conduct Audits:
    • Periodically conduct audits to ensure that traceability is maintained.
    • Check for any gaps in traceability and address them.

Step 9: Communicate

  1. Communication:
    • Ensure that the RTM is accessible to all relevant team members.
    • Communicate any updates, changes, or issues related to requirements.

Step 10: Verify and Validate

  1. Verification and Validation:
    • Regularly verify that the requirements are being implemented as per the traceability matrix.
    • Validate that the delivered product meets the specified requirements.

By following these steps, you can create and maintain an effective Requirement Traceability Matrix to ensure that your project requirements are well-managed and properly implemented. Regular updates and communication are key to the success of this process.

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Author: Pallavi

Business Analyst , Functional Consultant, Provide Training on Business Analysis and SDLC Methodologies.

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