Importance of Requirements Traceability Matrix
The different phases in a software development life cycle are requirement analysis, specification, design, coding, testing,
integration, deployment, and maintenance. Though each phase has its own importance, requirement analysis is critical to the
success of a software project since in software development life cycle, requirements form the basis of the remaining steps in the
During the phase of requirements gathering and analysis, the software development team gathers requirements from the
various stakeholders, such as beneficiaries, marketing personnel, or users. It is on the basis of these requirements that the
software development team develops software. However, when the software team proceeds with software development
process it is quite possible for the software team to get confused regarding requirements. This would result in software or a
system that deviates from the actual business needs of the customer or client. This is what requirements traceability matrix
helps to overcome.
Requirements Management has the most comprehensive Requirement Traceability Relationship .Requirements traceability
matrix based on is developed at the beginning of a software project to incorporate the project's scope, requirements, and
deliverables. The matrix is bidirectional as it tracks the requirement forward and backward. Forward tracking helps to find out
the output of the deliverable while the backward tracking helps in finding out the business requirement that was specified for a
particular feature of the product. Thus, requirements traceability matrix is defined as "the ability to describe and follow the life
of a requirement, in both forwards and backwards direction (i.e. from its origins, through its development and specification, to
its subsequent deployment and use, and through all periods of on-going refinement and iteration in any of these phases.)"
The traceability matrix is created by associating requirements with the work products that satisfy them. It maps relationship
between any two baselined documents such as user requirements and test cases. It is usually in the form of a table with
identifier for each of the items of one document in the left column and the identifiers for the other document across the top
row. On correlating an item on the left to an item across the top, a mark is put in the intersecting cell. The number of
relationships is added up and if the value is zero, it indicates a lack of relationship while high values indicate a complex
relationship that needs to be simplified.
Advantages of Requirements Traceability Matrix
A requirements traceability matrix helps to
ensure that the current project requirements are met
prepare Request for proposal (RFP), deliverable documents, test scripts, and project tasks
find the origin of each requirement
track every change made to the requirement
Thus, requirements traceability matrix plays an important role in software development as it helps the software development
team to develop software that conform to user requirements.
Also read more about : requirements management software & integrated tools