How to Create Traceability Matrix in Excel

Correlative documentation of a project or task’s outcome aligned with the asked requirement in any form is a Traceability Matrix (TM). In general, users create a Traceability Matrix in Excel to keep ongoing projects in their trace. Multiple steps are depending on users’ applicability to create Traceability Matrix in Excel.

Create Traceability Matrix in Excel

In this article, we demonstrate step by step process to create a Traceability Matrix in Excel. You can use our Dataset as a Template to create your own.

Watch Video – Create Traceability Matrix in Excel

What Is a Traceability Matrix?

A representation of a correlative document that considers or correlates any two documents depending on their many-to-many comparable relationship is a Traceability Matrix (TM). A Traceability Matrix (TM) establishes forward, backward or bidirectional relationships among its fields, checks whether requirements are said that the basic purposes of a Traceability Matrix (TM) are addressed or not, and ensures the fulfillment of those asked requirements. Thus, it can be said that the basic purposes of a Traceability Matrix (TM) are:

🔺 Addressing the Requirements

🔺 Ensuring the Fulfillment of the Requirements

Varieties of Traceability Matrix

Mainly there are 3 directional Traceability Matrix types to perform within a Traceability Matrix (TM). Similar to directional entities, they are named as (i). Forward Traceability (FT), (ii). Backward Traceability (BT), and (iii). Bidirectional Traceability (BDT).

(i). Forward Traceability (FT):

Mapping Traceability from requirements to the Test or Validation is Forward Traceability (FT). It ensures a project’s path is in healthy shape and step-by-step verification.

(ii). Backward Traceability (BT):

Matching the Test outcomes with initial requirements is Backward Traceability (BT). It helps developers to get rid of unnecessary side outcomes during the build time of the project.

(iii). Bidirectional Traceability (BDT):

Combining Forward and Backward Traceability to ensure and cross-check fulfillments of any project requirements is Bidirectional Traceability (BDT). It ensures requirements to tests and test to requirements compatibility of a Traceability Matrix (TM).

How to Create Traceability Matrix in Excel: Step-by-Step Procedure

Excel Templates are popular when dealing with Traceability Matrices. However, generating a simple project Traceability Matrix is quite easy if users maintain some fundamental features within the Matrix. The fundamental features include:

(a) Addressing the Requirements.

(b) Requirement Objective Details.

(c) Work Progress with Documentation.

(d) Verification with Tests.

Follow the latter steps to create a Traceability Matrix in Excel.

1. Setting Up Requirements to Create Traceability Matrix in Excel

In the beginning, you need to address the requirements. Also, you have to assign each requirement to a Unique ID. These IDs help developers or workers to remotely work on each requirement until their completion. It is necessary to address each requirement as a whole part or divide it into parts for simultaneous work progress.

Asking Requirements

2. Define Requirement Objective to Restrict Project Outcomes

After getting the requirements, it’s a good practice to border requirements with specific working areas. “What should be each requirement demand conditions and as a developer, the provided product with met those requirements” is needed to draw using expanded details. As a result, detailing those requirements with requirement objectives is essential. Assign those requirement objectives along with the requirements in the Traceability Matrix (TM) as shown in the below picture.

Objective of Requirements

3. Specify Requirements Priority to Create Traceability Matrix

In reality, customers demand self-contradictory features. Also, there may be chances that certain requirements result in less effectiveness as the by-product of others. To resolve this kind of issue, specify party names along with the asked requirements in the Traceability Matrix (TM).

Specify Requirements Priority to Create Traceability Matrix

4. Project Progress with Linked Documents within Traceability Matrix 

After setting requirements and objective details, you need to keep track of the project’s progress with proper documentation. Ongoing working progress of different steps needs to be linked with documents within the Traceability Matrix. Therefore, you can trace each step until its completion.

Here, we have a worksheet named Test Cases where all the details are stored.

Details of Test Cases

  • To insert a link with that “Test Cases” worksheet, use the following formula.
=HYPERLINK("#'Test Cases'!A1",100%)

Here, Test Cases is the worksheet name. 100% is the cell value for project status.

Linking sheet

Similarly, linked all other cells to “Test Cases“.

Project Progress with Linked Documents within Traceability Matrix

5. Mention Test Status with Linked Documents to Create Traceability Matrix

The most crucial part of a Traceability Matrix is to verify the final product with asked requirements. Also, it’s necessary to conduct modification steps in case the specific requirements are not met. You need to link test result documents with proper Test Status. Also, any kind of discrepancies in the test outcomes needs to be addressed and sorted.

  • For getting the status, you may use the following formula.

Finding Output

  • To insert link, right-click on cell >> from the Context Menu Bar >> select Link >> click on Insert Link.

Mention Test Status with Linked Documents

  • So, you will get the Insert Hyperlink dialog box. Now, go to Place in This Document >> select ‘Test Cases’ >> type I7 in the Type the cell reference box >> press OK. Here, I wanted to jump into cell I7 of worksheet Test Cases, thus I used I7 as cell reference.

Inserting Hyperlink

Lastly, you will get the linked status. Similarly, do for others.

Created Traceability Matrix

6. Maintain Traceability Matrix

To keep the Traceability Matrix operational and workable, avoid unnecessary documentation. Also, remove expiry documents from links and citations. Maintain only one Traceability Matrix for a project. Arrange columns or fields in a way that has a clear depiction and comprehensibility.

Read More: How to Make an Eisenhower Matrix Template in Excel

Download Excel Workbook

Practice with the Dataset or use it as a Template.


In this article, we demonstrate and discuss the simple steps to create a Traceability Matrix in Excel. You can add more steps depending on your requirements or the size of the project. Hope this article clarifies your understanding of the Traceability Matrix and its aspects. Comment, if you have further inquiries or have anything to add.

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Maruf Islam
Maruf Islam

MARUF ISLAM is an excellent marine engineer who loves working with Excel and diving into VBA programming. For him, programming is like a superhero tool that saves time when dealing with data, files, and the internet. His skills go beyond the basics, including ABACUS, AutoCAD, Rhinoceros, Maxsurf, and Hydromax. He got his B.Sc in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering from BUET, and now he's switched gears, working as a content developer. In this role, he creates techy content... Read Full Bio

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