Planning

Requirements traceability Matrix

A requirements traceability matrix is used to track the various attributes of requirements throughout the project life cycle. It uses information from the requirements documentation and traces how those require- ments are addressed through other aspects of the project. The following form shows how requirements would be traced to project objectives, WBS deliverables, the metrics they will be measured to, and how they will be validated.

Another way to use the matrix is to trace the relationship between categories of requirements. For example:

  • Business objectives and technical requirements
  • Functional requirements and technical requirements
  • Requirements and verification method
  • Technical requirements and WBS deliverables

An inter-requirements traceability matrix can be used to record this information. A sample form is included after the requirements traceability matrix.

The requirements traceability matrix can receive information from:

  • Project charter
  • Assumption log
  • Stakeholder register
  • Scope management plan
  • Requirements management plan
  • Stakeholder engagement plan
  • Lessons learned register

It provides information to:

  • Quality management plan
  • Procurement statement of work
  • Product acceptance
  • Change requests

The requirements traceability matrix is an output from the process 5.2 Collect Requirements in the PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition.

Tailoring tips

Consider the following tips to help tailor the requirements traceability matrix to meet your needs:

  • For complex projects you may need to invest in requirements management software to help manage and track Using a paper form is usually only helpful for small projects or when tracking requirements at a high level.
  • For projects with one or more vendors you may want to add a field indicating which organization is accountable for meeting each requirement.
  • Consider an outline format with the business requirement at a parent level and technical requirement and specifications subordinate to the business requirement.

Alignment

The requirements traceability matrix should be aligned and consistent with the following documents:

  • Development approach
  • Requirements management plan
  • Requirements documentation
  • Release and iteration plan

You can use the element descriptions in tables to assist you in developing a requirements traceability matrix and an inter-requirements traceability matrix. The matrix shown uses an example of business and technical requirements.

 

Requirements traceability Matrix 

Document element Description
ID Enter a unique requirement identifier.
Requirement Document the condition or capability that must be met by the project or be present in the product, service, or result to satisfy a need or expectation of a stakeholder.
Source The stakeholder that identified the requirement.
Category Categorize the requirement. Categories can include functional, nonfunctional, maintainabil- ity, security, etc.
Priority Prioritize the requirement category, for example Level 1, Level 2, etc., or must have, should have, or nice to have.
Business objective List the business objective as identified in the charter or business case that is met by fulfill- ing the requirement.
Deliverable Describe the metric that is used to measure the satisfaction of the requirement.
Verification Describe the metric that is used to measure the satisfaction of the requirement.
Validation Describe the technique that will be used to validate that the requirement meets the stake- holder needs.


Inter-requirements traceability Matrix
 

Document element  Description 
ID Enter a unique business requirement identifier.
Business requirement Document the condition or capability that must be met by the project or be present in the product, service, or result to satisfy the business needs.
Priority Prioritize the business requirement category, for example Level 1, Level 2, etc., or must have, should have, or nice to have.
Source Document the stakeholder who identified the business requirement.
ID Enter a unique technical requirement identifier.
Technical requirement Document the technical performance that must be met by the deliverable to satisfy a need or expectation of a stakeholder.
Priority Prioritize the technical requirement category, for example Level 1, Level 2, etc., or must have, should have, or nice to have.
Source Document the stakeholder who identified the technical requirement.