By: Katie Johns
With a projection of about $507.2 billion on the global software market revenue by 2021, the prospects for this sector are on a record high. Besides, a huge chunk of companies, just about 44%, are planning to boost their tech spending this year – 2020. Therefore, the software niche is, by far, one of the largest and highly competitive businesses to invest in. Most companies and businesses are continually seeking advanced technologies to improve their business operations, and you shouldn’t be left behind.
Here’s how you can create software requirements specifications and improve your software development process:
Make an outline
The first step when creating a software requirements specification is to make a succinct outline. Your outline should be made up of the system requirements and features, the product’s overview, and the product’s purpose. Here is an example of an outline to create:
Keep your outline organized and logical
When outlining the document’s structure, take time to ensure that it is logical and well-organized. This way, you can guarantee flow and a full view of the whole product ecosystem. It will equally help the members of the product development team to have a smooth and easy collaboration.
Aside from saving time, ready-to-use product requirements document templates maintain coherence. This is perhaps the reason why most business owners today prefer them. Here is an example of questions to ask when organizing your document:
Interested Read: Beyond Agile: Reorganizing IT For Faster Software Delivery
Point out the purpose and expectations of the product
The initial chapters of your SRS document should contain the product’s purpose. This enables you to create some expectations for the software solution that you are building. You need to cover two basic things – the scope of the product and the audience & use.
For the scope of the product, you need to define the product that you are specifying, which should clearly show the objectives targeted by the software and the respective benefits. On the other hand, the audience & its use should indicate the people involved throughout the project. It would help if you showed how these individuals will have access to the document and how they are going to use it. Such persons include project managers, testers, developers, stakeholders, and sales & marketing individuals.
Make it exhaustive
It would be best if you exhausted all areas in your SRS to make it complete and transparent. There are tons of different requirements in software engineering, which you will need to add. By clearly providing and outlining brief overviews for your engineering partner, you get rid of time-wasting on assumptions and guesses made by designers and developers. This will equally ensure that the software development process goes according to the initial requirements.
Create an overview that shows how the finished software product will look like
This should paint a clear picture of the software product expectations in the SRS. This is to help those in the project team learn and interpret what they should be building. Some of the vital questions you need to tackle, therefore, include:
- Is the software an add-on to an already existing product?
- Is the software a new solution to a pertinent issue/problem?
- Is the product an update to existing software?
Answering these questions helps the team to understand the assumptions and dependencies, including the factors that could influence the fulfillment of the software development process. It can equally help the project team to understand the user needs, which includes understanding the target audience. Who will be using the software solution, and who belongs to what segment?
Your requirements should be testable
Your SRS should be testable by the project team to ensure that it is transparent and verifiable. This will equally help in the software development process.
Avoid beating around the bush and be direct with your requirements. The development team will make use of more specific requirements than the generic ones. And this is where most business owners go wrong – by being too general. If you are going to create software that will serve the right and intended purpose, then you need to be specific. For instance, you will need to include system failure requirements, business requirements, user interface requirements, market requirements, and external interface requirements.
Be neutral on the implementation
You only need to talk about the requirements for the software, but not the implementation. Leave that to the software development team to figure out and craft the best way forward. This equally gives the team the freedom to carry out their development without any interruption.
Finalize the documentation with the product team and stakeholders
This is the final stage of the SRS. Immediately you are through with the documentation; you need to ask your product development team to review it and then evaluate it. This should be done before the implementation stage. They should be able to make any revisions if present, and approvals. All other stakeholders should equally review the document to make sure that everyone is on the same page before the production stage.
At ISHIR, we too follow a streamlined process to ensure a smooth and complete requirements gathering phase in all our software projects using the agile development methodology. You can contact us to know the details.