The purpose of the RTM is to help ensure the object of the requirements conforms to the requirements by associating each requirement with the object via the traceability matrix.

A traceability matrix is used to verify that all stated and derived requirements are allocated to system components and other deliverables (forward trace).

The matrix is also used to determine the source of requirements (backward trace).

Requirements traceability includes tracing to things other than software that satisfy the requirements such as capabilities, design elements, manual operations, tests, etc.

The traceability matrix is also used to ensure all requirements are met and to locate affected system components when there is a requirements change.

The ability to locate affected components allows the impact of requirements changes on the system to be determined, facilitating cost, benefit, and schedule estimates.

Forward Traceability through the SDLC

Traceability Strategy

The extent of the RTM depends on what will be managed. Considerations include contractual requirements, risk, and overhead costs relative to the budget. The traceability strategy is devised by graphing relationships between work products. Conduct a proof of concept for your strategy using your selected RM tool.

Software is developed in stages, each with work products that can be associated with work products of the previous stage, creating the ability to trace from the requirements through the work products and from the work products back to the requirements. What work products are required depends on the organization's standards and development practices. In general:

(Also see: 5 key requirement concepts)

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Page updated 8/23/2008
Ludwig Consulting Services, LLC