Why RTM (Requirement Traceability Matrix) Is Important In Testing?


By Achal Sharma

Why RTM (Requirement Traceability Matrix) Is Important In Testing?

In this whole process of creating a product, the most important part is gathering requirements and keeping track of them whether those requirements are fulfilled or not. That’s where RTM plays a big role. It keeps track of every requirement. Be it from Client Side or User side requirements, RTM keeps track on every requirement.

What issues can occur if requirements are not tracked properly?

Not tracing requirements properly means missing out some of the features from the final product. These types of issues can cost a fortune to any association. It takes a lot of time and effort also to fix such an issue.

Curious to know what RTM is !!

RTM stands for Requirement Traceability Matrix which is a tool to trace or manage the requirements in system engineering and software development. RTM verifies the life of a requirement and delivers bi-directional traceability amid several related requirements.

Types of Traceability Matrix:

  1. Forward Traceability Matrix
  2. Backward Traceability Matrix
  3. Bi-Directional Traceability Matrix

What makes RTM so important in the present world?

In the field of engineering requirements, traceability is about understanding how the needs, expectations, aspirations, aims, goals, and objectives of high-level requirements are converted into low-level requirements. Therefore its main focus is on the relationship between all the coatings/layers of information.

Each test case is matched to each requirement in requirement traceability matrix (RTM), Therefore there is less chance for missing any requirement in testing and 100 % test coverage can be achieved using RTM in testing which is one of the most important gains of preparing RTM.

It helps users to discover every change that was made to any requirement(s) as well as the origin of that particular requirement. A trace where requirements are derived from, how they are satisfied tested and what impact will be on the result if they are changed. Requirements come from different mediums like the marketing manager, senior marketing engineer, actual user or any of the stakeholders. All these stakeholders will have different requirements on the product.

Using RTM, that particular person or group can be traced that wanted it during the requirements revelation. Tracing the requirements can be really helpful during the development process to prioritize the requirement and also defining the value of the requirement to a particular user. It can also be used after the product has been delivered to the client to see if a feature is missing acc. to user studies and why it was required in the first place.

Requirements Traceability keeps in check the relation between requirements and other development artifacts such as technical and other requirements. Its objective is to understand the product under development and all the other requirements; enhance the overall quality of the product(s) under development and the capability to manage change in requirements and other artifacts.

All the requirements should be traced but also the affiliation of requirements with all the relics associated with it. Such as test results models, test cases, test procedures analysis results and all kinds of documentation. User groups and people related to requirements should be traceable.

The matrix consists of the table of features. For each feature, a tester will check if there is backward and forward traceability which means-- Is each feature is matching back to an objective? Do we have all the requirements of the particular feature?

If there is a feature without any traceability, it will notify the project team that the requirements are not complete.

By using traceability matrix, A tester can also identify that by adding any new requirement previous requirements are affected or not. A tester can recognize those areas within the functional specifications that are impacted by the new requirement and make suitable changes.  It is very important to confirm that the new modification doesn’t break any current requirements within the system.

RTM (Requirement traceability matrix) also helps in evaluating the effect on the QA team to reuse the test cases. It also illustrates overall defects or execution status keeping in mind business requirements.

When the “defects” section is used to build up the deteriorating traceability, we can tell that the “Login” or any other mentioned functionality is the most defective. Rather than reporting that these particular test cases are failed, Traceability Matrix gives frankness back to the business prerequisite that has most defects in this way signifying what the client wants and the Quality.

Everything is well under control!!!

With BugRaptors at your side, you don’t need to worry about the missing requirements as we have a team of highly skilled & professional software testers that make sure that every step of thorough requirement analysis is covered and implemented on the final product.


Achal Sharma

Achal works as QA engineer in BugRaptors. He is well versed with manual testing, mobile application testing, game testing, compatibility testing , Regression testing and sanity testing and able to create effective documentation related to testing like test case, test report etc.

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