Requirement Traceability Matrix in Software Testing
In this article, I am going to discuss Requirement Traceability Matrix in Software Testing. Please read our previous article where we discussed Test Case Review Process in Software Testing. At the end of this article, you will understand the following important pointers which are related to Requirement Traceability Matrix in Software Testing.
- What is Requirement Traceability Matrix in Software Testing?
- What Specifications Must be Included in RTM?
- How Important Is the Requirement Traceability Matrix in Software Testing?
- Who Requires Requirement Traceability Matrix?
- Different Types of Requirement Traceability Matrix in Software Testing
- How to Create a Requirement Traceability Matrix in Software Testing?
- Tools used in RTM
- Requirement Traceability Matrix Template
- What are the Advantages of RTM?
- What are the Disadvantages of RTM?
What is Requirement Traceability Matrix in Software Testing?
The requirement Traceability Matrix is referred to as RTM. All of the requirements and test cases are mapped by RTM. Using this document, one may confirm that test cases cover every aspect of the application’s functioning in accordance with the client’s expectations.
- Requirements: The client’s requirements for a specific project.
- Traceability: The capacity to follow the tests’ progression.
- Matrix: Data that can be stored in a row-and-column format is called a matrix.
The major objective of the requirement traceability matrix is to confirm that all customer needs have been taken into account in the test cases that the testers have created. Simply put, it’s a pen-and-pencil method of analysis of the two data sets, however in this case, we are only utilizing an Excel sheet to validate the data in a requirement traceability matrix.
A document called the Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM) links user requirements to test cases. At the conclusion of the software development life cycle, it contains all requirements put forth by the client and requirement traceability in a single document. Requirement Traceability Matrix’s major goal is to confirm that all requirements are verified through test cases in order to ensure that no functionality is overlooked while performing software testing.
What Specifications Must be Included in RTM?
The following are the RTM’s required parameters:
- Requirement ID: Every requirement in the project has a unique identification number or requirement id.
- Requirement Description: The SRS (System/Software need Specification) document contains a full description of each need.
- Requirement Type: Understand the different types of requirements, such as those for banking, telecom, healthcare, travel, e-commerce, and education, among others.
- Test cases ID: The testing team creates the test cases. Test cases are also given an ID number.
How Important Is the Requirement Traceability Matrix in Software Testing?
Business analysis professionals create a document called SRS (System/Software Requirement Specification) and save the needs there after receiving the client’s requirements. This document, which we refer to as the Sprint Backlog when using the Agile paradigm, contains requirements in the form of user stories. After thoroughly understanding the requirements once QA receives the SRS/Sprint backlog document, they begin building test cases and go over them with the entire project team. But occasionally, it’s possible that some of the functionality of the requirements is absent from these test cases. To prevent this, we needed a requirement traceability matrix.
- Every test case has a link to a specific requirement in the RTM. As a result, it is less likely that any testing need would be overlooked, and 100% test coverage is possible.
- RTM aids users in learning about any modifications that have been made to the requirements as well as where the requirement came from.
- By using RTM, needs may be tracked to identify the specific organization or individual who requested them, as well as their priority.
- The relationship between needs and other development artifacts, such as technical and other requirements, should be kept in check.
- The Traceability Matrix can assist the tester in determining whether or not the addition of any requirement will have an impact on earlier requirements.
- RTM aids in assessing how using the test case again will impact the QA team.
Who Requires Requirement Traceability Matrix?
When creating test cases, testers must ensure that they account for all application functionality and match the client requirements listed in the SRS/Sprint backlog.
- To confirm that a requirement traceability matrix is required.
- For RTM, they typically utilize an Excel or Google spreadsheet.
Different Types of Requirement Traceability Matrix in Software Testing
The three main components of a traceability matrix in software engineering are as follows:
- Forward Traceability: This matrix is used to determine whether the project is moving forward for the proper product and in the desired direction. It ensures that every requirement is applied to the product and put through a rigorous testing process. It links test cases to requirements.
- Backward or Reverse Traceability: Traceability in reverse or backward directions is used to check whether the current product is still heading in the proper direction. This kind of traceability is used to ensure that the project’s scope is not being increased by adding code, design components, tests, or other work that is not stated in the requirements. It links test cases to specifications.
- Forward + Backward Traceability: This traceability matrix makes sure that all criteria are covered by test cases in both directions. It examines how a change in requirements may be impacted by a work product’s defect and vice versa.
How to Create a Requirement Traceability Matrix in Software Testing?
SRS/Sprint backlog papers and test case documentation must be created before RTM. The steps to create RTM are as follows:
- We’ll utilize an Excel sheet for RTM.
- Include the project name, the date, and the name of the person in charge of RTM.
- In the first column of an Excel spreadsheet, list all required IDs row by row.
- Write all the required descriptions row-wise in the second column of an Excel sheet.
- Write all the required types row-wise in the third column of an Excel sheet.
- In an Excel sheet, list all the test cases along with their IDs in columns.
- You must confirm that you have prepared test cases in both positive and negative flow for each requirement after creating all the requirements and test cases.
Mention Tools used in RTM
If an Excel spreadsheet isn’t your thing, consider these needs management tools:
- Visure Requirements: This tool is given by Visure Solutions, which is focused on business-critical and safety-critical industries. Its Visure Requirements tool gives total traceability.
- Modern Requirements4DevOps: This solution is integrated with Microsoft’s Azure DevOps, TFS, and VSTS, and allows project managers traceability through every stage of the process.
- ReQtest: Providing traceability from project start to finish; this technology is hosted in the cloud. It offers a very flexible requirement module that enables project managers to quickly analyze and trace changes.
Explain RTM Template
The accompanying figure depicts the fundamental template of RTM. The requirement is here. Row-wise IDs and test cases Since the IDs are column-wise, the traceability matrix is forward.
From the figure below, it can be observed that:
- There are test cases 1 and 7 for verifying requirement number 1.
- There are test cases 2 and 10 for requirement number 2, and there are test cases to check all other requirements.
What are the Advantages of RTM?
Here are a few advantages of adopting RTM:
- Complete test coverage: RTM attests to the complete test coverage.
- Verify missing functionality: The tester can use this document to make sure no functionality was left out of the application’s testing.
- Understanding what additional test cases we created that are not part of the requirement also aids in prioritizing and tracking requirements.
- Aids in monitoring test state: Monitoring the overall test status is simple.
- Correct and consistent documentation: RTM can aid in the endeavor to give the team correct and consistent documentation.
- Versioning is simpler because RTM makes it easy to keep track of necessary changes and their effects on each project component.
What are the Disadvantages of RTM?
Here are a few disadvantages of adopting RTM:
- Limited fault identification: RTM’s (Requirements Traceability Matrix) emphasis on matching requirements to test cases may leave out some flaws. It mainly confirms that the standards have been met but does not ensure thorough testing.
- Maintenance might take a lot of time because requirements are constantly changing and evolving. This can take a while, particularly for complicated projects with lots of requirements and test cases.
- Resource-intensive: The development and upkeep of an RTM call for devoted resources, such as qualified testers who can map requirements and update the matrix on a regular basis. This might make testing more expensive and time-consuming overall.
- Lack of adaptability: RTM is strongly dependent on specified requirements and test cases, which can restrict its ability to adapt to changes that occur during testing. It could be necessary to make considerable changes to the current matrix in order to adapt to new requirements.
- Incomplete coverage: RTM may not guarantee full coverage of all potential scenarios despite mapping requirements to test cases. Due to the specified mapping approach, there can be undiscovered edge situations or unanticipated interactions.
In the next article, I am going to discuss the Bug in Software Testing. Here, in this article, I try to explain Requirement Traceability Matrix in Software Testing. I hope you enjoy this Software Testing Requirement Traceability Matrix article.
About the Author: Pranaya Rout
Pranaya Rout has published more than 3,000 articles in his 11-year career. Pranaya Rout has very good experience with Microsoft Technologies, Including C#, VB, ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET Web API, EF, EF Core, ADO.NET, LINQ, SQL Server, MYSQL, Oracle, ASP.NET Core, Cloud Computing, Microservices, Design Patterns and still learning new technologies.