The Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM) is a project management tool used to help maintain a project within the defined scope. The RTM helps to ensure that the project does not deviate from its intended purpose by ensuring that the deliverables and the requirements remain as originally planned. It enhances the tracing of deliverables and requirements by creating a thread from the time the project commences up till when it is completed.
The RTM is bi-directional; it tracks the project requirements “forward” by probing the output of the deliverables and “backward” by scrutinizing the requirement as initially defined for specific features of the product. The RTM also guides the project team in ensuring all the requirements are verified and meet the specifications, apart from helping to identify variations to the project scope when they come about.