Traceability Matrix


The Traceability Matrix displays a two-dimensional matrix showing the links between two sets of requirements or other types of items. For example, you could have high-level customer features displayed as rows and their related lower-level functional requirements as columns. Links can be created and deleted on the fly. The Traceability Matrix helps you to visualize complex relationships within a set of requirements and to quickly repair incorrect links.

To navigate to the Traceability Matrix, open an R4J project and select the Traceability button at the top-right of the Tree View.

It is important to understand that the effective use of the Traceability Matrix depends on the practices of your organization and its development process. You need to take into account how different types of requirements or other types of issues are structured, as well as how they are linked together and used. An organization might have different practices for different situations, so different matrices can be defined and saved in the Traceability View.

The sheer number of requirements in a project may also be a challenge to understanding traceability, so identifying significant subsets of the requirements and saving them in different views also promotes an effective solution.

Traceability Matrix Layout

A panel on the left of the traceability view provides a list of saved views and buttons to manage the views. To open a view, select its name from the list of saved views. The rest of the traceability matrix displays the requirements included in the view.

The requirements are arranged in a two-dimensional matrix. Arrows appear in the intersections of the rows and columns where the corresponding requirements are linked. For example, if customer features form the rows of the matrix and functional requirements form the columns, then the arrows show which functional requirements are linked to their customer features. The arrows show the direction of the link. A link shown as A → B indicates that A has what Jira calls an “outbound” link to B, while B has an “inbound” link to A. Red triangles to the right of the arrows indicate suspect links. Hovering over an arrow reveals the type of the link.

Traceability Matrix Operations





Select items for new view

If you do not select a saved view, you first select Configure View and then fill in the required information in the dialog to specify the requirements that appear in the rows and columns.

By default the matrix size is limited to 20x20. The Display Size configured for the row or column will be the basis for the traceability matrix pagination.

The requirements are selected in one of three ways:

  • Specify the Issue Types to be used. For Source, select the option "Issues Types".

  • For Source, select the option "Filter" and provide the name of a saved Jira query.

  • For Source, select the option "JQL" and provide a query in the Jira Query Language.

In the section Link Definition, specify the link types that are to be used. The Scope option determines if unlinked requirements are to be excluded from the matrix.

Open issue in R4J tree view

Select an issue key.

  • If the issue is contained in only one project tree, that project tree is opened in a new tab, with the selected issue displayed in the detail view.

  • If the issue is contained in multiple project trees, in the dialog select the project tree to be opened .

  • If the issue is not contained in any project tree, in the dialog confirm that you want to be redirected to the Jira issue view.

Open issue in Jira

Hover on an issue key and in the popup window select the issue key to open the Jira issue view page.

Link an existing issue

Hover on an empty cell and select the + icon to open the Link Existing Issues dialog, where you choose the link type and then proceed to create the new issue.

Only Managed Filters in the following categories can be selected in the Filter picker: Filters shared with current requirements project, Filters in “My“, “Favorite“, and “Popular“.

Delete link

Hover on an arrow and select it to open the Unlink Issue dialog, where you can unlink the issues.

Display link type

Hover on an arrow to display the link type.

Refresh display

Select Refresh to display the latest state of the requirements and their links.

Clear configuration

Select Clear to return to an empty view.


Select the Export menu to save a view in an XML or Excel format. Only the displayed page will be included in the generated export.

Apply multiple links

Select Apply Multi-Link to open the Multi-Link Existing Issue(s) dialog. In here, you will be able to add link(s) you want to create between the row and column issue(s), limited to what is visible in the current page. Click on Link to finally create the links.


Pagination options can be found at the bottom-most and right-most of the traceability matrix. Click on the arrows to navigate or input a valid page number.

Saving Views

The configuration of a matrix can be saved and reused.





Save new view

Select the Save view as button in the left panel and fill in the required information:

  • Name: Name of the view.

  • Visibility: Specify if the view is private (available only to the currently logged in user) or public (available to all users with access to the project).

Save view

Select the Save View button to save any changes made to an already saved view.

Open saved view

Select an existing view.

Rename view

Hover on the saved view's name, select "..." then select Rename and provide a new name.

Delete view

Hover on the saved view's name, select "..." then select Delete and confirm.


Hover on the saved view's name, select "..." then select Get URL to get a shareable link to the view.