How to Create a Jira Requirements Traceability Matrix

Jira Requirements Traceability Matrix-This comprehensive guide explores what a Jira Requirements Traceability Matrix is, its uses, and how it can significantly improve your project management processes.

What is a Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM)?

A Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM) is a document that maps and traces user requirements with test cases. The main purpose of the RTM is to ensure that all requirements defined for a system are tested in the test protocols. It helps in identifying missing functionalities, ensuring all the requirements are met, and avoiding any scope creep.

Why Use Jira for RTM?

Jira, developed by Atlassian, is widely used for issue and project tracking. It offers robust tools for managing requirements and tracking project progress. Integrating RTM with Jira can provide several benefits:

  1. Centralized Requirement Management: Jira allows for the centralization of all project requirements, making it easier to manage and track them.
  2. Improved Visibility and Transparency: With Jira, stakeholders can easily see the status of requirements and test cases, enhancing transparency.
  3. Automation: Jira supports automation of various processes, including updates to the RTM, reducing manual effort and the risk of errors.
  4. Integration with Other Tools: Jira can integrate with other tools and plugins, such as Confluence, Zephyr, and Xray, to enhance the traceability process.
  5. Real-time Updates: Any changes in requirements or test cases are immediately reflected in the RTM, providing real-time updates.

How to Create a Jira Requirements Traceability Matrix

Step 1: Define Requirements

The first step in creating an RTM is to define all the project requirements. In Jira, you can create a new project or use an existing one and start adding requirements as issues. Each requirement should have a unique identifier for easy tracking.

Step 2: Link Requirements to Test Cases

Once the requirements are defined, the next step is to create test cases that will validate these requirements. Test cases can also be created as issues in Jira. Using Jira’s issue linking feature, you can link each requirement to its corresponding test cases.

Step 3: Create a Custom Issue Type for RTM

To better manage your RTM, you can create a custom issue type specifically for the RTM. This issue type can be used to consolidate all the links between requirements and test cases.

Step 4: Use Plugins for Enhanced Traceability

Several Jira plugins can enhance the functionality of your RTM:

  • Zephyr: A comprehensive test management tool that integrates seamlessly with Jira.
  • Xray: Another popular test management tool that offers advanced traceability features.
  • Requirements and Test Management for Jira (RTM): This plugin is specifically designed to manage requirements and test cases within Jira.

Step 5: Generate Reports

Jira’s reporting features allow you to generate detailed reports on the status of requirements and test cases. You can create custom dashboards to visualize the RTM and track the progress of requirement validation.

Benefits of Using a Jira RTM

  1. Enhanced Accountability: Each requirement and test case is assigned to specific team members, ensuring clear accountability.
  2. Better Risk Management: By tracking requirements and test cases, potential risks can be identified and mitigated early in the development process.
  3. Improved Quality Assurance: Ensuring that all requirements are tested improves the overall quality of the product.
  4. Streamlined Communication: All stakeholders have access to the same information, improving communication and collaboration.

Use Cases of Jira Requirements Traceability Matrix

Software Development

In software development, an RTM ensures that all functional and non-functional requirements are met. It helps in tracking the development process and ensures that no requirement is overlooked.

Regulatory Compliance

For industries that require strict regulatory compliance, such as healthcare and finance, an RTM helps in demonstrating that all regulatory requirements are met and tested.

Agile Projects

In agile projects, where requirements can change frequently, an RTM helps in managing these changes and ensuring that all iterations meet the defined requirements.

Test Management

An RTM is crucial in test management, ensuring that all test cases are linked to requirements and that all requirements are tested.


What is the primary purpose of a Requirements Traceability Matrix?

The primary purpose of an RTM is to ensure that all requirements are tested and validated. It helps in tracking the relationship between requirements and test cases, ensuring comprehensive test coverage.

How does Jira enhance the RTM process?

Jira enhances the RTM process by providing a centralized platform for managing requirements and test cases, offering real-time updates, and supporting automation and integration with other tools.

Can Jira RTM be used in Agile projects?

Yes, Jira RTM is particularly useful in Agile projects as it helps manage changing requirements and ensures that all iterations meet the defined requirements.

What are some popular plugins for RTM in Jira?

Some popular plugins for RTM in Jira include Zephyr, Xray, and Requirements and Test Management for Jira (RTM).

How does an RTM improve project quality?

An RTM improves project quality by ensuring that all requirements are tested, identifying missing functionalities, and preventing scope creep.


A Requirements Traceability Matrix is an essential tool for ensuring that all project requirements are met and tested. Integrating RTM with Jira enhances its functionality, providing better visibility, accountability, and quality assurance. Whether you are working on a software development project, ensuring regulatory compliance, or managing an Agile project, a Jira RTM can significantly improve your project management processes.

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