Traceability matrix or software testing traceability matrix is a document that traces and maps the relationship between two baseline documents. This includes one with the requirement specifications and other one with the test cases.
As an essential tool used during the development of a new product, the traceability matrix helps to ensure transparency and completeness of the software testing products.
The software testing matrix document plays a key role in convincing the client that all the requirements specified, have been met and there are no loopholes that are left at the time of product delivery.
It usually includes columns such as requirement, baseline document reference number, bug ID and test case. The inclusion of these columns simplifies the task of tracking any requirement made by the client using defect id.
Some of the common parameters that are included in software testing matrix are requirement ID, risks involved, requirement type and description, unit test cases, integration test cases, user acceptance test cases and trace to test script.
Benefits of Using Traceability Matrix
Creating traceability matrices can prove beneficial to the testing team in several ways. Some of these are as mentioned below:
• It helps the development team to be sure about the inclusion of all the customer’s needs in each phase of the SDLC
• It helps ensure that all the requirements have been captured in the test cases
• It helps assure the client that the product has been developed as per the requirements shared by them
• It simplifies the identification of any missing functionalities
Types of Software Testing Traceability Matrix
Traceability matrix can be divided into three major types as mentioned below:
1. Forward traceability: In this type of traceability matrix, the specific requirements are mapped with test cases. This implies that the requirements mentioned are used to ascertain the codes that were impacted as well as the type of test cases.
Using this matrix makes it easy to identify and check if the project is moving towards the desired direction and for the precise product. Thorough testing of each requirement to be met gets easier with this type of matrix. Also, it helps in ensuring that each requirement is applied to the product as well as mapped to test cases.
2. Backward traceability: Also known as reverse traceability, this type is used to map test cases with the requirements. In other words, this implies that one should be able to trace the requirement by looking at the test cases.
This type of traceability matrix also helps in ensuring that the existing product continues to remain on the right track. Along with this, it also helps in confirming that the scope of the present project is not expanding by any activities that are not specified in the requirements such as adding code, test or design elements.
3.Bi-directional traceability: This type of traceability matrix has both forward and backward traceability. This implies that the test cases are mapped to the requirements as well as the requirements are mapped to test cases. Using this matrix help in ensuring that all type of requirements are covered by the test cases.
There are a number of ways in which using this traceability matrix is beneficial. Some of these include analyzing the impact of a change in requirements on work product, requirements that were affected due to a certain change or defect in a work product, evaluating the current status of the requirements, identifying missing requirements, identifying gold plating, and others.
Creating and using traceability matrices is highly recommended as this helps in minimizing the loopholes and errors that might occur during a product’s development.
Moreover, it is extremely important for the companies to make sure that all its products meet the highest quality standards and there are no compromises made in terms of its quality. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the traceability matrices are used so that the delivery of best quality product is ensured.