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Friday, May 14, 2010

Traceability matrix and Baseline

Traceability : It is a tool to monitor the progress of Software Testing. It is used to check if some of the test cases are left out or not in Manual and automated testing.

Baseline : It is the point at which some deliverable produced during the software engineering process is put under formal change control

Baseline, in simple words is a software specification or functionality that is reviewed or accepted for development. Once the functionality is baseline, we can start developing of the functionality. A Traceability Matrix, on the other hand, lists all the functionality or features and the test cases for each feature. By using the traceability matrix we can measure, when to stop testing of the project or application.

A traceability matrix is a document, usually in the form of 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 (these often consist of marketing requirements) and detailed requirements of the software product to the matching parts of high-level design, detailed design, test plan, and test cases.

Generally Traceability Matrix contains:
1. UseCaseID(Functionality/Feature).
2. Description of the Feature.
3. Priority for the Feature.
4. TestCaseIDs for this Feature. (Once if the mapped testcases for each Feature meets Success criteria, then we can stop testing of the project)
5. In which phase is the Feature (Unit,Component,Integration,System)

A requirements traceability matrix may be used to check to see if the current project requirements are being met, and to help in the creation of a Request for Proposal, various deliverable documents, and project plan tasks.

Common usage is to take the identifier for each of the items of one document and place them in the left column. The identifiers for the other document are placed across the top row. When an item in the left column is related to an item across the top, a mark is placed in the intersecting cell. The number of relationships are added up for each row and each column. This value indicates the mapping of the two items. Zero values indicate that no relationship exists. It must be determined if one must be made. Large values imply that the relationship is too complex and should be simplified.

To ease the creation of traceability matrices, it is advisable to add the relationships to the source documents for both backward traceability and forward traceability. In other words, when an item is changed in one baselined document, it's easy to see what needs to be changed in the other.


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