A Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM) is a document that links product requirements back to their sources while tracing them forward through the product development lifecycle. This matrix helps to ensure that each requirement adds business value by linking it to the business and project objectives.
The RTM is typically represented as a table, with the requirements in the rows and various lifecycle stages, such as design, implementation, testing, etc., in the columns. This helps stakeholders ensure that each requirement is addressed at each stage of product development and can also be used to assess the impact of potential changes to requirements.
A basic example of a Requirements Traceability Matrix could look like this:
|Requirement ID||Requirement Description||Source||Design Document||Code Module||Test Case|
|REQ-001||The system shall…||Customer Interview||Design Doc #1||Module #1||Test #1|
|REQ-002||The system shall…||User Survey||Design Doc #2||Module #2||Test #2|
|REQ-003||The system shall…||Stakeholder Meeting||Design Doc #3||Module #3||Test #3|
In this example:
- The Requirement ID is a unique identifier for each requirement.
- The Requirement Description briefly describes what the requirement is.
- The Source column indicates where the requirement came from.
- The Design Document, Code Module, and Test Case columns link the requirement to the corresponding elements in these stages of the product development lifecycle.
The Requirements Traceability Matrix can be an effective tool to manage requirements, track the development process, validate that all requirements have been met, and verify that no unnecessary work has been done.