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I have a bit confusion about the traceability matrix, in some places I have read that it is used to establish the relationship between requirements and test cases whereas some articles say that it is used to establish relationship between requirements, design and test cases. So my question is what is traceability matrix, what is its design format and who exactly prepares it? Thanks

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Traceability Matrix is a document used for tracking the requirement, Test cases and the defect. This document is prepared to make the clients satisfy that the coverage done is complete as end to end, This document consists of Requirement/Base line doc Ref No., Test case/Condition, Defects/Bug id. Using this document the person can track the Requirement based on the Defect id.
Traceability matrix is used to map between requirements and test cases it is used to check all requirements are covered or not?

Template is like: User Reqid/User req description/Functinal req spec/Design Spec
A traceability matrix is a table that correlates any two baselined documents that require a many to many relationship to determine the completeness of the relationship. It is often used with high-level requirements (sometimes known as marketing requirements) and detailed requirements of the software product to the matching parts of high-level design, detailed design, test plan, and test cases.
A traceability matrix is created by associating requirements with the work products that satisfy them. Tests are associated with the requirements on which they are based and the product tested to meet the requirement.
Tracability Matrix defines the mapping between customer requirements and prepared testcases by test engineers.It is known as requirements traceability matrix or requirements validation matrix.It is used by testing team to verify how far the test cases prepared have covered all the requirements of the functionalities to be tested.
It provides an excellent organizational skill set and information readily available upon demand. A
person in action / charger can identify what works and what is missing. Having a requirements traceability matrix is an invaluable tool to accomplish say, a project.
A traceability matrix contains:
1).User and functional requirements.
2).Design specifications that address each user requirement.
3). Testing references (i.e., Operational, and User Acceptance) and specific objectives or Standard Operations Procedures (SOPs) which verify whether or not the user requirements have been met.

There are basically seven steps for Traceability matrix implementation:
***(1) Create a template.
***(2) Transfer data from Business Requirements Catalog.
***(3) Identify the requirement with a unique ID.
***(4) Copy the Use Case ID into the traceability matrix.
***(5) Insert the System Requirements Specification (SRS) ID into the traceability matrix.
***(6) Insert the testing data into the traceability matrix.
***(7) Review your data.

Traceability matrices can be established using a variety of tools including requirements management software, databases, spreadsheets, or even with tables or hyperlinks in a word processor.
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