Traceability Matrix

An explanation of Traceability Matrix tool in Business Analysis

A traceability matrix is a tool used in business analysis to establish and maintain linkages between various elements, such as requirements, business objectives, design components, test cases, and deliverables. Its primary purpose is to ensure that all requirements can be traced back to business needs and objectives, and that every requirement is adequately covered by the project’s deliverables and test cases.

Key Uses of a Traceability Matrix

  • Linking Requirements: Tracing business requirements to solution requirements, analysis models, and test cases.
  • Validation: Ensuring each requirement supports a business objective and identifying any requirements that do not contribute to the business goals.
  • Scope Management: Preventing scope creep by verifying that all included requirements are necessary and relevant.
  • Project Tracking: Maintaining a clear record of requirements throughout the project lifecycle to ensure that all deliverables align with the initial objectives.

Sample Traceability Matrix

Project Name:New Website Development
Cost Center:12345
Project Description:Development of a new e-commerce website to enhance customer shopping experience and increase sales.
IDAssociate IDRequirements DescriptionBusiness Needs, Opportunities, Goals, ObjectivesProject ObjectivesWBS DeliverablesProduct DesignProduct DevelopmentTest Cases
0011.0User authenticationEnhance security and protect user dataEnsure secure access to the websiteLogin moduleUser login pageAuthentication logicTC-001
1.1Password recoveryImprove user experienceHelp users regain account accessPassword recovery featurePassword reset functionalityPassword reset implementationTC-002
1.2Multi-factor authenticationEnhance securityAdd an extra layer of securityMFA moduleMFA designMFA developmentTC-003
1.2.1SMS-based MFAIncrease security with OTPImplement OTP-based MFASMS integrationSMS service for OTPOTP generation and validationTC-004
0022.0Product catalogProvide detailed product informationDisplay product detailsProduct listing pageProduct catalog page designCatalog page developmentTC-005
2.1Product searchEnable users to find products easilyImplement search functionalitySearch moduleSearch bar and filtersSearch algorithmTC-006
2.1.1Advanced search filtersEnhance user experience with better search optionsAdd advanced filtersFilter optionsFilter functionality designAdvanced filter implementationTC-007
0033.0Shopping cartAllow users to add products to cartFacilitate product purchaseShopping cart moduleCart page designCart functionalityTC-008
3.1Save for laterImprove user experienceEnable users to save productsSave for later featureSave for later designSave for later implementationTC-009
3.2Apply discount codesAllow users to apply discountsIncrease sales through promotionsDiscount code integrationDiscount code applicationDiscount logicTC-010
0044.0Checkout processStreamline the purchase processEnsure smooth transaction completionCheckout moduleCheckout page designCheckout processTC-011
0055.0Order trackingAllow users to track their ordersProvide order status updatesOrder tracking featureOrder tracking pageOrder tracking systemTC-012

Interaction Matrix

An interaction matrix is a simplified version of a traceability matrix used in an adaptive project life cycle. It is a lightweight tool that helps determine whether requirements are sufficiently detailed and if any entities (such as requirements, use cases, or design components) are missing.

Unlike a full traceability matrix, which is maintained throughout the project lifecycle, an interaction matrix represents a snapshot in time and is considered a temporary artifact. It is typically used during the early stages of the project to identify gaps or inconsistencies in the requirements or design before moving forward with more detailed planning and development.

Here’s a sample diagram of an interaction matrix:


In this example, the interaction matrix maps requirements (Req1, Req2, Req3, etc.) against use cases (UC1, UC2, UC3, etc.). The ‘X’ marks indicate the relationships or interactions between the requirements and the use cases. The interaction matrix helps identify:

  • Coverage: If a requirement has no ‘X’ marks in the matrix, it suggests that the requirement is not covered by any use case or design component, indicating a potential gap.
  • Duplication: If a requirement has multiple ‘X’ marks for the same use case or design component, it may indicate duplication or overlap.
  • Missing Entities: If a column or row is completely empty, it may suggest that a use case or requirement is missing from the analysis.
  • Inconsistencies: If the interactions don’t align with the expected relationships, it may indicate inconsistencies or errors in the requirements or design.

By analyzing the interaction matrix, the project team can identify and address these issues early in the project, ensuring that the requirements are complete, consistent, and properly addressed in the design and implementation phases.

Last updated: May 26, 2024