Requirement Traceability Matrix Excel

Requirement Traceability Matrix Excel

Before we get to the Traceability Matrix part, you must know what Software Testing is. Software Testing is a comprehensive process that ensures the successful working of the software after its development process is finished. Let me help you to download the requirement traceability matrix template. MS Excel (Project planning template has been using in this method).

According to requirement management plan, this template work accordingly.

In this post, we will discuss what is the role of RTM in project management, using tools and templates in the documentation.  Element, statement of work, types and various examples lead you towards perfect goal or project closure stage.

Requirement Traceability Matrix Excel

Quick FAQ:

  1. Help in creating regression analysis templates
  2. Help in creating project preliminary planning & Project Scope
  3. Easily compare any two variables, so track into the chart
  4. Helping in managing statement of work, project structure

What is a Traceability Matrix Template?

Traceability Matrix can be an Excel spreadsheet or a document in the form of a table essentially, which correlates any two entities normally having a many-to-many relationship to determine the consequence of the relationship between them or completion of the relationship between e two entities.

Requirements <-> RFP <-> Design/Task <-> Deliverables <-> Verification

As an example, consider the following table to be a very basic example of a Traceability Matrix which may or may not vary in complexity through different organizations:

Requirements ID 001 002 003 004 005 006
Tests ID ————– ————– ————– ————– ————– ————–


A Traceability Matrix having one entity as Requirements particularly and the other as the Test Cases is a RTM. Hence, in theory, the above Traceability Matrix is an example of a Requirement Traceability Matrix.

A Traceability Matrix determining the relationship between a test case and another entity may be termed as another Traceability Matrix. However, the purpose stays the same.

We use a Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM) to trace the requirements through multiple tests during the Software Testing process. Hence, the many-to-many relationship. We use this test artifact to determine whether the developers were able to fulfill the requirements given initially before the initiation of the project. This ensures the successful development of software after it is fully developed.

Types of Requirement Traceability Matrix Excel

Types of Requirement Traceability Template

There are three kinds of Requirement Traceability Matrices. However, each step ensures a better level of optimization in the software testing phase. Also, we refer to these different approaches as types but referring these types as phases can be a much more fruitful process. Because that way you’re bound to correctly check all the possibilities and hence that minimizes the possibility of any human error.

  • Forward Traceability Matrix Excel: In this type of RTM, you’re essentially mapping the requirements to test cases. In simpler words, you’re making sure that each test has successfully checked the correct requirement.

This also makes sure that the project is progressing in the right direction from start to finish.

  • Reverse Traceability Matrix: In this type of RTM, you’re essentially using the test cases and mapping them to requirements. Basically the reverse of the previous kind of Traceability Matrix. In this way, you’re again ensuring that the current product is correct.

Moreover, it makes sure that you’re not expanding the scope of the project by adding functionalities that are not a part of requirements.

  • Bi-Directional Traceability Matrix: As obvious from the name, this type of Traceability Matrix follows two directions simultaneously. Which two directions?

Well, for starters you’re mapping the requirements onto the test cases and then you’re mapping the test cases onto the requirements.

  • Benefits of Using All Types: For large software projects, to make the Project Development process minimal prone to errors, it’s better to use all kinds of Requirement Traceability Matrices. This would ensure you’ve checked each requirement multiple times and remove errors to a large extent in multiple aspects and perspectives.

Requirement Traceability Matrix vs Agile Methodology:

Here’s the thing, the Requirement Traceability Matrix is a traditional methodology which is error-free, ensures and promotes the correct right testing process for a Software Development execution.

But, something that people don’t talk enough about is there can be times when the possibility of no-errors is minimal. In other words, this means that the firm that’s developing software follows set of values and principles that promote the error-free development from the very start and this could eventually result in a very efficient and fast process.

However, to your surprise, I’m not referring the process free of the Requirement Traceability Matrix as an Agile Methodology. Agile Methodology is a little complex subject and to your surprise again, it’s not actually a methodology. If you’re interested in knowing what Agile Methodology is and how does it differ from RTM, read along. However, if you’re not interested you can just swipe down to the next part.

  • Agile Methodology: A methodology is a body of method/procedures/rules for a particular discipline.

Whereas, Agile means the values and principles do not prescribe the way how your team should work. Instead, the Agile methodology’s only goal is to focus on ways to think, interact and work in a way that achieves agility.

The ability to continuously adapt, constantly making improvements to the way you work yields agility. If agile specified a methodology it would be less agile in a way, think about it. So, instead of telling you what to do it gives you some values and principals.

If a team of Software Developers is trying to follow an agile methodology it means they will continuously improve and adapt. After all, that’s what it means to be agile.

Overall, this necessarily means to may or may not use traditional tools to get projects done.

Importance of Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM):

Following are some of the points that explain the importance of Requirement Traceability Matrix:

  1. Requirements are the building blocks for software development. Tracing those requirements correctly in the form of a document is unavoidable.
  2. Not only tracing, but the Requirement Traceability Matrix also helps to determine whether a requirement is correctly developed into software or not.
  3. During the requirements testing process, ensures the successful improvement of errors if detected any.

Benefits of Requirement Traceability Matrix Excel (RTM):

  • For Project Managers and the Team:

Following are the benefits of using Requirement Traceability Matrix for Project Managers and Development team:

  1. It provides and ensures 100 percent test coverage.
  2. RTM allows you to identify the missing functionality easily.
  3. Requirement Traceability Matrix also provides you a way to identify the test cases which we need to update in case of a change in requirements.
  4. They make it easier to track the overall execution of the project and test cases

For Clients & Stakeholders:

Following are the benefits of RTM for the Clients and the Stakeholders responsible:

  • For clients, RTM ensures a smooth and hurdle free process to get their hands on their product efficiently.
  • Stakeholders can depend on the requirements method and have documented proof of checking all the requirements.
  • Fast, efficient and error-free process for both parties.

Elements of a Requirement Traceability Matrix:

A Requirement Traceability Matrix has two entities for certain. Where one entity represents the Requirement and the other represents the test cases.

  • The Requirement representative can be an assigned ID to each requirement or a requirement description. Given the sensitivity of this document, this can vary from one organization to another.
  • In like manner, the other entity represents the test cases which also can be an ID or a given name to each test.
  • The third element is a mark that represents if two entities have a complete relationship or not. After a test is completed considering one requirement, a tick in case of successful, across in case of failure and 0 in case of no relation can be marked on the RTM.

Examples of a Requirement Traceability Matrix Excel:

Please note that these examples are prone to variation from one organization to another, however, the purpose remains the same throughout.

Example 1:

Requirement ID Requirement Description Test Case ID Test Case Status
69 Edit Button TC01, TC02, TC03 TC01: Pass

TC02: Pass

150 Ticket Generate TC04, TC05,TC06, TC07, TC08 TC04: Pass

TC05: Pass

TC06: Pass

TC07: Fail

TC08: Didn’t run

189 Main Menu TC09, TC10, TC11 TC09: Pass

TC10: Fail

TC11: Pass

Example 2:

Requirements ID 001 002 003 004 005 006
Tests ID ————– ————– ————– ————– ————– ————–
1 Pass    
2 Pass    
3   Pass  
4   Pass  
5   Fail  
6   Didn’t Run  
7     Pass
8     Fail
9     Pass

Whereas Pass = Tick, Fail = Cross and Didn’t Run = 0.

Creating a Requirement Traceability Matrix Template:

A requirement traceability matrix can be created on an excel spreadsheet, on Microsoft word, on a paper as a simple document or a third party application.

However, the ideal way depends upon the organization that’s opting for this method. I personally suggest using Microsoft word since it’s a hard code and you don’t necessarily need to do any calculation.

How to create an RTM using MS Word?

  1. Simply generate and insert a table onto the page, fulfill the columns with your desired entities. In this case, a testing ID column and a Requirement ID row as designed above.
  2. Perform your test cases and note down any observations. That’s how simple a Requirement Traceability Matrix is. However, the matrix can be more or less explain depending upon the project, the software, people involved, and the organization.

Conclusion: A Requirement Traceability Matrix is used to verify the requirements for the tests which we need to verify to know whether the requirements were fulfilled or not.

It ensures an error-free and saves the developers or stakeholders from any developing embarrassment. Moreover, it ensures the correct completion of the software.


Create Requirement Traceability Matrix in Excel (

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