How is it different from a Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM)? Please explain with real life scenarios and examples. Also include or link reference material that might help!


4 Answers 4


Requirement Traceability matrix maps the user requirements with the test cases. In simple words, the matrix helps in determining if all the requirements have been covered(i.e there are test cases which can be traced back to the requirements).

There are 3 types of RTM:

  1. Forward:Requirements->Test Cases
  2. Backward: Test Cases->Requirements
  3. Bi-directional: Forward+Backward

Please refer the following link for a better understanding: http://www.guru99.com/traceability-matrix.html


Bidirectional traceability is the ability to trace both forward and backward (i.e., from requirements to end products and from end product back to requirements).

It means tracing the code from requirements and vice-versa throughout a Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).

When you are in the course of your project, your fundamental aim would be to ensure that each and every requirement is translated into code. Tracing right from the requirements through the architecture and design, to the code, to ensure that the objectives or more precisely requirements have been met is referred to as the process of establishing Forward Traceability. A well maintained requirement documentation, like RTM, can be your guide in this process.

When you think about maintenance, invariably, due to economic and technical considerations your client will come back to you. At this juncture, you will debug; or rather you will hunt for various types of bugs. You should be in a position to go back to the requirements of corresponding code or architectural components. To achieve this you ought to trace back your code and design to their corresponding requirements. This process is called Backward Traceability.

You can read more about the entire traceability process here.


Some definitions:

A trace link is a specified association between a pair of artifacts, one comprising the source and one comprising the target artifact. … [It] is effectively bidirectional. Where no concept of directionality is given or implemented is is referred to solely as an association.

When a trace link is traversed from source to target, is is used in the primary direction. Where link semantics are provided, they provide a way to “read” the traversal.

When a trace link is traversed from target to source, it is used in reverse direction. Where link semantics may no longer be valid.

Bidirectional trace link is a term used to refer to the fact that a trace link can be used both in a primary and in reverse link direction.

Here's a discussion about bidirectional traceability and how it may be achieved.


Bidirectional traceability needs to be implemented both forward and backward (i.e., from requirements to end products and from end product back to requirements).

When the requirements are managed well, traceability can be established from the source requirement to its lower level requirements and from the lower level requirements back to their source. Such bidirectional traceability helps determine that all source requirements have been completely addressed and that all lower level requirements can be traced to a valid source.

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