A clear and understandable software requirements specifications document makes life easy both for you as a customer and for the contractor you chose. It helps entrepreneurs and investors to quickly assess costs, ensure timely implementation of the project, and test the development strategy. Thanks to this document, developers understand the tasks, create a set of effective recommendations and edits. In this article, we explain how to create software requirements, and give step-by-step instructions that will speed up this process.
What parameters should the technical requirement specification meet?
The main parameter for the document is clarity for developers, designers, and other participants who are working on creating a software product. The effective specs meet the following parameters:
➢ coherence – use transparent wording, without subjective, abstract, or ambiguous expressions;
➢ measurability – use realistic and achievable numerical data in deadlines, funding, and performance indicators;
➢ adaptability – enable the ability to update prices, data, and formats;
➢ consistency– set out the blocks of the software requirements specification in a logic way, they should not contradict the structure consistency;
➢ complexity – draft documentation in an informative way so that testers and developers understand your requirements.
Go back to the drawing board to avoid misunderstandings, formulate tasks clearly, don’t waffle on the technical specifications:
|❎ The application should be developed in a convenient format.||✅ The mobile application must be implemented in the MVP format.|
|❎ The app will be used by students and schoolchildren in different European countries.||✅ The app will be used by residents of the UK and Germany:
group No.1 — students of 16-23 years old;
group No. 2 – adults who study Java independently.
|❎ We’d prefer the light beige and other pastel shades.||✅ Base color will be corporate light brown. See our brand book: link.|
How to start developing software requirements specifications document?
Usually customers face two key problems: lack of understanding of why the software requirements specifications or statement of work is needed and that they use a one-size-fits-all approach. There are no universal schemes that can be accurately adapted to projects with different goals and areas of application. We have developed a step-by-step instruction that will help you develop the software requirements specifications in 5 steps.
Step 1. Divide the functionality
Organize the work of all departments, define functionality and areas of responsibility. This will help you look at the processes from a different angle, collect information that individual team members own. The finance department will help you choose convenient payment systems: Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Qiwi and others. Marketing specialists will determine the characteristics of the target audience, provide information about the corporate colors, logos and brand fonts.
When the “roles” are separated, proceed to the creation of the SRS blocks.
Step 2. Draw up a plan
We recommend that you select 5 main blocks of the future software requirements specifications:
- General information. Provide information about the project, the target audience and the problems that the future product solves.
- Technical requirements for the software. Provide info about the necessary integrations, OS versions to be supported, screen layout preferences and the technologies that you prefer to use.
- User requirements. Describe user scenarios – actions that a potential user performs: passes registration, subscribes to updates, searches for the products needed, makes a payment online. Do not forget to define the key stage – specify the target action.
- Non-functional requirements. Display the desired interface – a design that was developed by a competent specialist based on the requirements above. Development of prototypes and their features. Specify the design requirements and features of the UI&UX design based on the corporate identity.
- Appendices. Supplement the document with information and sources that will help the contractor to achieve the best result.
Step 3. Define goals
Determine who will use the software. Try and walk in a potential customer’s shoes and answer the following questions:
➢ How will the software help me?
➢ How often will I use the product?
The answer to these two questions is the mission of your software requirements specification. It will help you evaluate the effectiveness of future software from the point of view of the convenience: load performance, intuitive interface. Based on these factors, create a list of KPIs that quantitatively assess the impact of the future software on your business. Look at a set of key performance indicators on the example of an online store:
KPI 1→ Conversion rate;
KPI 2 → number of targeted sessions;
KPI 3 → average monthly basket;
KPI 4 → number of “abandoned” baskets;
KPI 5 → return on investment in software as a separate sales channel.
Step 4. Check all the details
Divide the document data into high-level and low-level requirements. Identify top-priority and important points. For example, mention that the website should be cross-browser, that the application should support the latest OS versions. Double-check and coordinate the details with the team.
The SRS format depends on the project tasks. Usually, it’s a text document. If necessary, visualize the material using tables and diagrams made in Miro online service. 15 million users have already chosen this resource for collaboration in teams. Miro integrates with Dropbox, Google Suite, JIRA, Slack, and Sketch tools. To create mind maps, we recommend using other services: MindMeister and Figma.
Step 5. Make it clear
Creating a comprehensive software requirements specification is half the battle. Double check that the contractor is on the same page with you. Request feedback and edits. Reach an understanding before going into the project together.
The purpose of creating SRS is to make things as clear as a bell, to separate a large project into small parts that are easier to be managed for you as a customer and the contractor.
Need help developing the SRS? We help in creating the right technical specifications from scratch, taking into account your wishes and priorities.
Do you have a ready-made SRS? We analyze the blocks, identify weaknesses, make recommendations, and optimize the file.
If you have any questions, please contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.