Requirement Traceability Matrix : How to Create RTM with Download Example(with MindMap)

In this article, we are going to learn about the Requirement traceability matrix and Learn How to create your Own RTM(with Mindmap and Download Sample Template).

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It important concept that you need to learn as a software tester, QA tester or any kind of engineer who works with the software development life cycle is known as SDLC(software testing life cycle).

This document can save your lots of effort if maintained well over time and can ensure the 100% test coverage and can prevent the defect leakage.

We are going to learn in the tutorial


What is the Traceability Matrix in Testing?

If we go by the definition of Wikipedia,

Traceability Matrix is defined as It is a document used to assist in determining the completeness of a relationship by correlating any two baselined documents using a many-to-many relationship comparison.

a quite complex way to explain a simple concept right?

In easy words, It is used to track the requirements and to check the current project requirements are met.

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What is the Requirement Traceability Matrix?

First of all, it is a single document, and if we are tracing the business requirement with it, it is known as RTM(Requirement Traceability Matrix rtm).

A document that maps and traces user requirements with test cases. It is used to check if the current project requirements are being met or not.

With RTM it basically captures all requirements proposed by the client and requirement traceability in a single document.

It can help in the creation of a request for proposal software requirements specification, various deliverable documents, and project plan tasks

RTM basically make sure that you have a complete Test coverage.

Why we need Requirement Traceability?

  • Great Tool to link the requirements, Test cases, and defects accurately
  • It can provide Good coverage data what is being tested and test coverage
  • With RTM, We have Prevention in Defect Leakages
  • Assures good ‘Quality’ of the application as all the features are tested.

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What is the purpose of the requirements traceability matrix?

  1. It basically gives an idea about the mapping of requirements and test cases.
  2. Ensure that all the requirements mentioned by the project owners, stakeholders are correctly implemented.
  3. Helps in managing bugs, defect over the course of time
  4. It can help you to keep track of the requirements change during the project build or SDLC.

Types Of Traceability Matrix

Forward Traceability :

Requirements are mapped to test cases. We just ensure whether the project progresses in the desired direction.

Let’s take an example, Suppose we have a login page with username, password and submit button, We have a requirement that on entering admin as username and admin as password, We should have a successful login, lets take it as requirement id 1, suppose we create 3 test cases like.

  1. case 1. correct username correct password.
  2. case 2. incorrect username and the correct password.
  3. case 3. correct username and incorrect password.
  4. case 4: correct username and the correct password.

Now we can map our requirement be like

requirement id 1 –> TC1, TC2, TC2, TC4

This is known as the forward traceability matrix, we are mapping the requirement nad test case the left to the right direction.

Backward Traceability

Test Cases are mapped with the Requirements, Current product being developed is on the right track.

In the previous example of login page, Suppose we want to verify that which test case is related to the correct requirement to ensure that we are not adding extra out of scope design, or negative test cases which are not required, so we map back every test case to the requirement to ensure that they are mapped correctly

Bi-Directional Traceability

  • A Great Traceability matrix has references from test cases to requirements and vice versa (requirements to test cases).
  • All the Test cases can be traced to requirements and each and every requirement specified has accurate and valid Test cases for them.

Bi-directional traceability can help us analyze the correct impact of a change in requirements affected by defects added to the same single document rtm.

How do you write a requirement traceability matrix?

In Software Testing, This is one of the essential test matrix that one needs to know how to create and understand. It can help software tester to map their respective requirements to the test case. make sure you include below essential params in RTM document.

Parameters of RTM

  1. Requirement Id
  2. Requirement Type and its Description
  3. Testcase id
  4. Test case and their status

P.S: Other misc parameters depend on the Project to Project.

You can download Traceability Matrix or Requirement Traceability Matrix( RTM ):

download requirements tracebility matrix template

How can it be of use to testers?

Software Testers can basically create the document and start adding or mapping the requirement with their test cases in this document, They are also linking the defects and bugs that they find along with the test cases.

If there is any change in the requirement, they should add in the RTM and create or update the test cases according to it.

  • Step 1: Download the Sample rtm template with the above link.
  • Step 2: Type your Project name and Author name.
  • Step 3: Start using it, Start mapping your business requirement with the test cases(make sure you have created separate test case sheet) that you have created in the respective column.
  • Step 4: Add more columns if required according to your project requirement.


Advantage of Requirement Traceability Matrix

  1. With the traceability requirements matrix, we can be about 100% sure that, we have a test case with the requirement and low defect leakage will be there.
  2. Any inconsistent between the requirement and test case can easily be pointed out.

Why RTM is Important?

  1. It can help software tester to achieve 100% test coverage.
  2. Most of the time RTM can help a software tester to prevent any kind of defect leakage (because every requirement is mapped to test case and hence defect in production are very less likely to happen)
  3. Many times, people refer rtm as the project status, because we have test cases status and defect attached to it.
  4. Another important point is that Requirement Traceability Matrix can help software tester to give the estimates as test cases are mapped they can give a rough estimate of how much time it will take to execute or test execution cycle.
  5. RTM can help you to find the early bugs and flows in the requirement as while creating test cases from the requirement software tester will validate the how he will execute and can come up with the flows or defects in the early stages.

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