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Are you a QA tester who needs to create a Requirements Traceability Matrix? Not sure how to do it and are looking for examples? In this blog post, we'll show you ways to create one using our example template. It includes fields like requirement ID and more. In addition, you'll get some tips on what information is important when creating your matrix.
Are you a product manager? RTMs can provide insights into the quality of the requirements for your product.
Let's get into it...
RTM is a document or a tool to map the test cases to business requirements and vice versa. The main purpose of RTM is to provide testing coverage insights. It ensures appropriate testing of requirements and aligns test cases with needs. RTM tracks the testing progress by looking at the status of test cases linked with specific requirements.
In theory, there are three types of RTM: Forward, Backward, and Bi-directional RTM. However, in the real world of software product development, Forward and Backward RTM are hardly used. They don't actually add value with traceability in one way. Therefore, this blog will mainly focus on the Bi-directional RTM that brings many benefits to different stakeholders.
Bi-directional RTM creates a one-to-many relationship: a requirement can link to multiple test cases, and one can link to only one requirement. A test case should be in unique size to be easily executed, maintained, or automated.
As stated in the section above, it's all about testing coverage. To be more specific, it ensures that RTM will validate every piece of requirements through test cases. It also keeps the testing in the right direction that fulfills the users' needs through requirements.
"Good RTM does not guarantee the software has good quality. It only means that all requirements have been tested and covered."
Let's get into the general idea of creating an RTM first; then, we'll go to a specific example and template in the next session.
Hot tip: Use the Data Validation feature to populate the list of Requirement IDs from the Requirements sheet to avoid mistake.
Many articles online include many types of requirements mentioned in RTM. It goes from Businesses Requirements, Technical Requirements, Use Case Documentation, and User Story. This makes RTM seem complicated or hard to understand.
To keep things simple, I'll be demonstrating RTM with a user story. This is the most common user requirement format used in Agile development.
A user story describes what the user needs to achieve their business goals. An essential part of a user story is the acceptance criteria which is used for deriving test cases.
Below is an example of a user story that describes the screen recording feature of Bird Eats Bug:
As a Bird user, I want to record screens so that I can report issue with all necessary information for developers with minimal amount of time.
And we'll walk you through how each step should look like below.
In Agile development, requirements often change based on customers' feedback. It will take more effort to maintain RTM than the traditional method. This means that the tester should be creative in creating RTM to minimize time spent on maintaining it.
When all the criteria of requirements are met, it does not mean that the product is bug-free. Many factors affect the quality of the product:
It only means that all requirements have been tested and covered. More often, some edge cases are not directly related to requirements but could lead to a defect. Therefore, exploratory testing needs to be conducted to improve the testing coverage.
Or ones defined by the product manager. Reason being that, yes, product managers can have excellent vision and a high-level understanding of the product. But they can also overlook some minor details and dependencies. As a consequence, it might need to be re-worked later.
On the other hand, QAs have a unique perspective of features. QAs can create a link between multiple features because they are detail-oriented and work with the product daily. Therefore, QAs should keep asking questions to clarify requirements to improve the test coverage as much as possible.
Communication and transparency are essential to keep RTM up to date. RTM's owner should be informed when requirements change to update the test cases.
The Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM) is a document that can help you keep track of the project's requirements, as well as attributes and tests. It will also allow your team to identify any gaps in the system or missing features. When used effectively, RTM can save time by helping teams stay on top of what has been accomplished and what still needs work.
If you found this information helpful or know someone who could benefit from using an RTM, please share! We hope these pointers will be helpful when creating your templates down the road, too - happy testing!
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