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What is Software Testing Traceability Matrix? What are its Types

November 2nd, 2017
What is Software Testing Traceability Matrix? What are its Types

What is Traceability Matrix?

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 another 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.
Traceability Matrix
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.

Basic Parameters to be included in TM (Traceability Matrix)

  • Requirement ID
  • Type and description
  • Testcase no:
  • Requirement coverage in a number of test cases
  • Test design status and the execution of the test status
  • Unit test cases
  • Integration test cases
  • System test cases
  • Risks
  • UAT (User Acceptance Test) Status
  • Defects and current status

How to Create TM (Traceability Matrix)?

  • Make sure that you have all the necessary documents such as business requirement document (BRD) and Functional Requirement Document (FRD)
  • List down all the BRD requirement with ID number
  • List out all the FSD for each business requirement
  • Open test scenario and test case document. Link test case IDs to the respective functional requirement

Template for Traceability Matrix

traceability matrix template

How the Traceability Matrix is useful in testing?

  • Can be used as a planning tool for testing and validation
  • Can be used for analyzing existing test suite
  • Can be used to asses test coverage
  • Can be used for mapping the requirement wit functional validation

Traceability Matrix Workflow

software testing traceability matrix


Creating and using software testing traceability matrix 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 software testing traceability matrix are used so that the delivery of the best quality product is ensured.

Know More: 10 Best Software Testing Tools For 2020

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