There many systems that can be used to archive Test Cases and Scripts through integration or simply exporting and importing to a repository. But the key is traceability, especially for Audits.

Why Requirements Traceability Management is Important?

The main agenda of every tester should be to understand the client’s requirement and make sure that the output product should be defect-free. To achieve this goal, every QA should understand the requirement thoroughly and create positive and negative test cases.

This would mean that the software requirements provided by the client have to be further split into different scenarios and further to test cases. Each of this case has to be executed individually.

A question arises here on how to make sure that the requirement is tested considering all possible scenarios/cases? How to ensure that any requirement is not left out of the testing cycle?

A simple way is to trace the requirement with its corresponding test scenarios and test cases. This merely is termed as ‘Requirement Traceability Matrix.'

The traceability matrix is typically a worksheet that contains the requirements with its all possible test scenarios and cases and their current state, i.e. if they have been passed or failed. This would help the testing team to understand the level of testing activities done for the specific product.

Which Parameters to include in Requirement Traceability Matrix?

  • Requirement ID
  • Requirement Type and Description
  • Test Cases with Status

Above is a sample requirement traceability matrix.
But in a typical software testing project, the traceability matrix would have more than these parameters.

As illustrated above, a requirement traceability matrix can:

  • Show the requirement coverage in the number of test cases
  • Design status as well as execution status for the specific test case
  • If there is any User Acceptance test to be done by the users, then UAT status can also be captured in the same matrix.
  • The related defects and the current state can also be mentioned in the same matrix.

This kind of matrix would be providing One Stop Shop for all the testing activities.
Apart from maintaining an excel separately. A testing team can also opt for requirements tracing available Test Management Tools.

Types of Traceability Test Matrix

In Software Engineering, traceability matrix can be divided into three major component as mentioned below:

  • Forward traceability: This matrix is used to check whether the project progresses in the desired direction and for the right product. It makes sure that each requirement is applied to the product and that each requirement is tested thoroughly. It maps requirements to test cases.
  • Backward or reverse traceability: It is used to ensure whether the current product remains on the right track. The purpose behind this type of traceability is to verify that we are not expanding the scope of the project by adding code, design elements, test or other work that is not specified in the requirements. It maps test cases to requirements.
  • Bi-directional traceability ( Forward+Backward): This traceability matrix ensures that all requirements are covered by test cases. It analyzes the impact of a change in requirements affected by the Defect in a work product and vice versa.