Requirements…requirements and more requirements, this is that one word which keeps us engaged whole dow the day. Requirements are what everyone of us runs around to get the best maximum out of it. For that class who are unaware of what the ‘requirement’ is all about, requirement is waht the client’s expectations towards a particular system/model.
Now since the requirements are essentially are client’s expectations then they are required to be discussed with them thoroughly and clearly, this task is typically carried over by the project manager or the business analyst. Once the requirements are properly understood they need to be converted to the actual working faultless system. To make requirements convert to the actual working model there is a need of the team work. That means a team comprising of a PM/BA, developer and the QA who will take this requirement at it’s end.
It is traditionally considered that set of requirements or client’s expectations are to be conveyed to the entire team through PM or BA using various means like a dedicated software system (like Bugzilla, Teamwork), a chatter system (like Skype) or a mailing system. Industry experts and various practical experiences says that requirement communication to the team should be avoided through verbal communication and should be always documented at some level.
Once the requirements are gathered and confirmed from client then it has to be taken care to cover all of them with higher accuracy by employing any technique.
The most commonly used technique to check the requirements coverage is to use a matrix called the Requirements Traceability Matrix.
This Requirement Traceability Matrix will take care to cover all client expectations.
Now, how this requirements matrix works?
As the name suggests, this is the matrix which will take client’s requirements from one side and map it to the internal test scenarios or test cases, so typically each requirement shall have at least one associated test case or test scenario at the minimum level. This is necessarily needs to be designed and approved by the PM/BA or the QA.
At the advanced level where we have business or functional requirement documents ready then they can be readily mapped to the associated test scenarios. Experts say that such kind of traceability matrix are highly useful and provide much clarity in understanding the client expectations and their overall coverage. Other set of experienced professionals say that such requirement matrix provide 100% test coverage, it pin points the missing functionality and provide ease to change test coverage in case any requirement changes.
It is a proven technique in the IT industry which serves purpose of many in terms of people and their expectations having maximum coverage with higher accuracy. This technique doesn’t have binding in terms of any specific work domain, technology and can be used as required. Considering its flexibility many companies employ it for bigger and complex projects as it proves to be a best way to track requirements.