8 Things to Consider When Writing Software Requirements

Article about 8 Things to Consider When Writing Software Requirements

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Dorian Martin activities: ,

Apr 16, 2021

Developers don’t want to spend their time on writing documentation – they want to immerse themselves in coding. And that’s a problem. Some developers start working on the project without having any documentation that contains initial guidelines, and that eventually leads to the project failure.

Do you want your project to succeed? Put your effort into writing software requirements. It will get your team on the same page and help you achieve outstanding results.

What Is Software Requirements Specification (SPS) Document?

A software requirements specification (SRS) is a document that describes different aspects of the software product development and provides answers to the following questions:

  • What specific issue does the software need to solve?
  • What features does this product need to have?
  • Who and how will use this software?

The purpose of writing software requirements is to make it clear to developers and other stockholders how the final version of the product should look like and how it should work.

Why Do You Need to Write Software Requirements?

Whether your team is big or small, you need to craft software requirements specifications to streamline the work process and ensure that everyone in your team understands the concept of your product right.

Here is a list of the key benefits of writing software requirements:

  • It keeps everyone on the same page. All team members, including developers, UX designers, and quality assurance specialists, will have a clear understanding of the scope of the project.
  • It helps to ensure that all the requirements will be fulfilled. When you don’t have documentation, your team may miss an important detail or forget to add an essential feature.
  • It helps you to prioritize your tasks the right way. Everyone understands which tasks should be completed first and which tasks can wait.
  • It allows you to cut costs. Your team will develop “the right product” from the first try, and you will not have to spend time and money on fixing bugs and other significant issues.

8 things to consider when writing software requirements from scratch

Are you ready to jump into writing software requirements? Here are eight things you need to consider.

Craft an outline

A software requirements specification document works effectively when, and only when, it has a clear, logical structure. So, the first thing you should do is to create an outline and define the key ideas you are going to discuss.

Here is an example of an outline you can use. It includes the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • Purpose and scope of the project
  • Intended Audience
  • Intended Use
  • Definitions
  • Overall Description
  • User Needs
  • Assumptions and Dependencies
  • System Features and Requirements

Define the purpose and scope of the project

Why have you started your project? What is your goal? Answer these questions and define the key concept of your software product. You should make it clear to everyone who will read your document what the primary purpose of your project is and what specific market need you are going to satisfy.

Describe your target audience

In this section, you should explain who will use your software. Preferably, you need to create a user persona.

A user persona is a collective image of your target audience. If you have never created user personas before, the following example will help you grasp the idea of how to complete the task.

Imagine that you are designing a platform similar to Pinterest. Who will be your “perfect user”? It will be a 25 years old female user with a $25-45K annual income. She will have such interests as home décor, knitting, baking, and fashion. She prefers to use apps that have visually appealing designs and are easy to navigate.

Once you define a user persona, your team will understand what kind of design they should create and what features they should add to create a perfect software product for your target market.

Talk about the “intended use”

The “intended use” section is probably the most important part of the software requirements specification document. The better your team understands how exactly your product will be used and for what purposes, the more advanced the software you will create.

Basically, your main task here is to understand the logic and motivation behind the users’ behavior. It will give you an idea of what features you should design to make your Android app or desktop software perfect.

Let’s get back to the example we’ve discussed in the previous section. Imagine you are designing an app similar to Pinterest. How will users use the “Pins” page? What buttons do you need to add to help users navigate your app and complete the desired actions?

When users find a relevant image, they want to complete one of the following actions:

  • Save an image to their “pins” collection
  • Follow the content creator to discover more similar images
  • Add a photo of  the “tried pin” to share photos of implemented ideas

Who should write this part of the document? Someone who understands users and their behavior, not a developer.

Provide additional details

You should provide software engineering with all the necessary information they may need to bring your innovative business ideas to life. You can add appendixes, glossaries of terms, and any relevant references that your team might find helpful to your SRS document.

Specify external interface requirements

You should specify the external interface requirements that relate to the used hardware, software, and communications.  Also, you should provide information regarding non-functional requirements, including security, quality, and performance requirements.

Proofread your document

SPS document, just like any other formal document, should be perfect in terms of grammar. You should proofread the specification requirements thoroughly to correct typos and other mistakes that may change the meaning of some phrases and cause miscommunications.

Discuss software requirements with stakeholders

Once you finish the first draft of your software requirements, show it to your team and other stakeholders. The chances are they will not approve your first draft. They will ask you to edit your document or rewrite some sections. Take their comments into account to improve your document and make it more effective. If you don’t feel you are not good at proofreading and editing, you can turn to professional writing help available online. Check this SameDayEssay review. This may be the academic help you really need.

Wrapping up

Software requirements specification document is a must for every project. Whether you are designing an educational platform for students or a video editing app for Facebook marketers, your team needs to have a document, the basic guidelines to refer to.

Put efforts into writing a comprehensive software requirements specification, and you will take your project to the next level.

Author Byline:

Dorian Martin is an academic writer, editor, and proofreader at the thesis writing service GetGoodGrade and an independent blogger. He has a diverse background in technology and business and knows how to create winning content in native English for any niche. 

Articles authored by Dorian Martin