Software requirements specifications: create on your own in 5 steps.
A clear and understandable software requirements specifications document makes life easy, both for you as a customer and for the contractor you chose. Moreover, it also helps entrepreneurs and investors quickly assess costs, ensure timely project implementation, and test the development strategy. Thanks to this document, developers understand the tasks and create a set of practical recommendations and edits. In this article, we explain how to create software requirements and give step-by-step instructions to speed up this process.
What parameters should the technical requirement specification meet?
The main focus of the document is clarity for developers, designers, and other participants working on creating a software product. Accordingly, the effective specs meet the following parameters:
- coherence – use transparent wording without subjective, abstract, or ambiguous expressions;
- measurability – use realistic and achievable goals 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 logically, as they should not contradict the structure consistency;
- complexity – draft documentation in an informative way, so testers and developers understand your requirements.
Additionally, go back to the drawing board to avoid misunderstandings. Formulate the tasks clearly, and don’t waffle on the technical specifications. Here is an example of a good task description:
|❎ App development format: convenient.||✅ We must implement the application in the MVP format.|
|❎ Main users of the app: students and schoolchildren in different European countries.||✅ About the users:
|❎ 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 fundamental problems. Firstly, they lack an understanding of why the software requirements specifications and statements of work are needed. Secondly, they use a one-size-fits-all approach. However, no schemes can be accurately adaptable to projects with different goals and areas of use. Therefore, we have developed a step-by-step instruction that will certainly help you develop the software requirements specifications in 5 steps.
Step 1. Divide the functionality
Organize the work of all departments. Define their functionality and areas of responsibility. This step will help you see all the processes from a different angle and collect unique information from individual team members. For example, the finance department will help you choose convenient payment systems: Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Qiwi, and others. Likewise, marketing specialists will determine the target audience’s characteristics. They can also provide you with information about corporate colors, logos, and brand fonts.
When the “roles” are finally separated, proceed to creating the SRS blocks.
Step 2. Draw up a plan
We recommend you select five main blocks of the future software requirements specifications, like the ones below:
- General information. Gather information about the project, the target audience, and the problems that the future product solves.
- Technical requirements for the software. Collect info about the necessary integrations, supporting OS versions, and screen layout preferences. Include also the technologies you prefer to use.
- User requirements. Describe different user scenarios. It can be actions that a potential user performs: passes registration, subscribes to updates, searches for needed products, and certainly makes a payment online. However, do not forget to define the key stage, which is to specify the target action.
- Non-functional requirements. Display the desired interface. This design is developed by a competent specialist based on the requirements above. Specify the design requirements and features of the UI&UX design based on the corporate identity.
- Appendices. Complete the document with information and sources to help the contractor achieve the best result.
Step 3. Define goals
Determine who will use the software. For instance, try to 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 certainly the mission of your software requirements specification. It will help you evaluate the effectiveness of future software and its convenience, like load performance and intuitive interface. Based on these factors, create a list of KPIs that quantitatively assess the impact of the future software on your business. For a better understanding, take a look at a set of key performance indicators in the example of an online store:
- conversion rate ← 1 KPI ;
- number of targeted sessions ← 2 KPI;
- average monthly basket ← 3 KPI;
- number of “abandoned” baskets ← 4 KPI;
- return on investment in software as a separate sales channel ← 5 KPI.
Step 4. Check all the details
Divide the document data into high-level and low-level requirements. Identify top-priority and essential points. For example, mention that the website should be cross-browser and the application should support the latest OS versions. Furthermore, double-check and coordinate the details with the team.
As you may know, 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 also recommend using other services: MindMeister and Figma.
Step 5. Make it clear
Well, creating a comprehensive software requirements specification is half the battle. You must double-check that the contractor is on the same page as you. Request feedback and edits. However, most importantly, reach an understanding before going into the project together. The purpose of creating SRS is to make things as clear as a bell and separate a large project into small parts that are easier to manage for you as a customer and the contractor.
Need help developing the SRS? We help create the right technical specifications from scratch, considering your wishes and priorities.
Have a ready-made SRS? We analyze the blocks, identify weaknesses, make recommendations, and optimize the file.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us via email: email@example.com.