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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM) - A tool for managing requirements

The Requirements Traceability Matrix is a tool for managing requirements. It is not only used in requirements engineering but through out the software engineering process. The white box approach refers to the development of system requirements without
considering the technical implementation of those requirements.

Components of Requirements Traceability Matrix

- RTM ID: A unique identification number for a specific requirement.
- Requirements: This is a structured sentence describing the requirements in a "shall" format.
- Notes: These are additional notes of requirements.
- Requestor: This is the person who requested the requirement.
- Date: This is the date and time the requirement was requested by requestor.
- Priority: This is the priority given to the requirements.

While the above elements are the initial RTM, one can customize the matrix to tie the requirements with other work products or documents. It can be done by:

- Relative to RTM ID: It specifies if the current RTM is directly or indirectly related to other requirements.
- Statement of Work (SOW): This is a description that relates the requirements directly back into a specific paragraph within the Statement of Work. It is a document that specify the nature of the engagement of the development team with their clients.

The components and the use of the RTM should be adapted to the needs of the process, project and product. It grows as the project moves along.

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