Requirements Traceability Matrix: managing and controlling changes in the scope of the project

One of the most important benefits of any requirements management initiative within a project management methodology is in the management and control of changes in the scope of these projects.  B2B buyers We will able to guarantee that we have an adequate picture of the scope of our project at the beginning, and that we will be able to follow the evolution of that scope in an appropriate manner.

What is the requirements traceability matrix?

Requirements management means registering and maintaining the relationship between the objects that we are managing. We can maintain traceability between requirements and business objectives, for example, to find out specifically which business objective each requirement contributes to meet.

Types of traceability matrix

It is possible to generate arrays of various types.

  • Traceability matrix between functionalities: shows the relationship between parts of the system visible to customers / users.
  • Source traceability matrix: allows identifying the source, that is, the origin of each requirement.
  • Dependency traceability matrix: this is the most common form of the matrix, and identifies the relationships between requirements.
  • Subsystem traceability matrix: lists the requirements for the subsystems to which they are related.
  • Interface traceability matrix: identifies how the requirements relate to the internal and external interfaces of the system.

Traceability matrix model

Whatever the type of matrix, it always follows the same model. Basically, you place the objects being tracked on the axes of a table and mark the points of intersection. In the most common case, the traceability matrix between requirements or dependencies, the requirements are repeated on the horizontal and vertical axes.

Conclusion: Example of traceability matrix

It is possible to maintain the requirements traceability matrix manually in a spread sheet, but it is easy to see how quickly it becomes unfeasible for slightly more complex systems. In such cases, many requirements management software tools automatically assemble the arrays and keep them updated.

Now imagine that halfway through the development of your project you receive a change request that involves changing a certain requirement. Without a traceability matrix, you may not realize the full impact of this change on your system and end up making the wrong decisions because you cannot perform a complete and reliable impact analysis. With the matrix, we can easily identify how many and what requirements are affected by any change in the system. And, thus make our impact assessment much more effective.

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