Traceability Matrix

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What Does Traceability Matrix Mean?

A traceability matrix is a type of document that helps correlate and trace business, application, security or any other requirements to their implementation, testing or completion. It evaluates and relates between different system components and provides the status of project requirements in terms of their level of completion.

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Techopedia Explains Traceability Matrix

A traceability matrix is primarily used in software development projects to trace, identify and verify that a specific functionality or component is being developed. Typically, a traceability matrix is a worksheet type document consisting of a table(s). Two different sets of values are compared against each other by placing an identifier for one set in the top row, and the other set on the left column. If there is commonality or a relationship, a mark is placed where the column and row intersect.

For example, if software being developed is to be evaluated for completion using a traceability matrix, project requirements can be placed within the left column and their pertaining test cases on the top row. If the project requirement and its test case are completed, a mark can be placed where they intersect on the chart, and all of these requirements can be added to calculate software completion status.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.