Why should you define Software Requirements Specifications?
Entrepreneurs come up with novel app ideas that can seal their deal, but what if you do not know What and How exactly your software product will work? How will you address the product’s whereabouts? If you do not define “What’s” and “Hows,” your project will only result in invalid outcomes. Thus, you should prepare a Software Requirements Specifications document in the first place, regardless of software type. The document specifies WHAT features your software should incorporate and HOW those features must work.
“Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy if both are frozen.”
– Edward V. Berard (Software Engineer)
Every software has a purpose, to serve the purpose, every software has special requirements that should be screened. With clearly documented, approved, and frozen requirements, a development team can quickly create software that meets your needs. Besides, SRS helps in estimating the cost and scope of the project. Hence, it is meant to prepare before you ground off the software product development lifecycle.
Let’s meet WHYs that will tell why you can’t miss Software requirements specifications!
Why are Software Requirements the key to success in the software development process?
Software development processes last longer than six months or more. The duration is enough to make anyone confused with the exact working model of the software. Consequently, when the software runs indecisively, it becomes challenging to identify which feature is responsible for it.
A well-defined requirements document helps stakeholders and developers recall which features should work at any given time. Subsequently, developers can work on the same, and the project’s consistency can be achieved over time.
- Detailed requirements directly relate to customers and the business needs, provide teams the project clarity, and support them to stay focused on quality assurance.
- Based on a software requirements specification, the entire project pulls every team involved in the development together and assures everyone is on the same page.
- A comprehensive SRS document is used to gather and provide critical information to multiple team members — a developer, designer, quality analyst, project manager, and client.
- Software products often require sudden modifications due to new technologies, market trends, design defects, etc. With SRS, you can coordinate the changes you make with your requirements and identify their influence, and update teammates timely. It keeps you from poorly executed changes resulting in design issues and plenty of wasted time.
- You can audit the SRS with the final product to ensure every requirement is accomplished. Further, it also guides you in making decisions about your product’s update lifecycle — for instance, when to release a new version or features.
- Defining and structuring collected requirements is an initial stage of the agile product development lifecycle. The more you are acquainted with what you need the software to do, the quicker you will get an accurate result. And quick development equals to minimize cost.
Pondering what types of requirements you need to gather for your software? Just go on…
What are the types of software requirements you must consider in your software development?
As far as we see, the software product engages with three parties: Business, Users, and Software. So, it is required to gather the software requirements from each individual outlook. However, software requirements classify into two categories for simple and better understanding. We will look into each one after one with a brief introduction.
Business Requirements: What the high-level business statements of goals, objectives, and needs are discussed in the business requirements.
Users/Stakeholders Requirements: Expectations of a group of stakeholders or users from the end-software product are clarified in these requirements.
Solution Requirements: Solution requirements describe the characteristics that a product must have to meet the stakeholders’ needs and the business itself.
Functional requirements express the software’s behavior under specific conditions and contain components that software engineers should add to the development. Meaning these requirements include the software’s features and functions, inputs, and outputs.
Examples of functional requirements for basic Software:-
- Business Rules
- Transaction, adjustments, and cancellations
- Administrative functions
- Authorization levels
- Audit Tracking
- External Interfaces
- Certification Requirements
- Reporting Requirements
- Historical Data
You can create a single functional requirements document or separate documents to visualize the system behavior. Then, Functional Requirements may include the following documents;
Software requirements specification document:
The Functional requirement documentation consists of detailed descriptions of the software product’s functions and capabilities.
Purpose: To clarify background, definitions, and system overview.
Overall description: It holds clarifications of product vision, business rules, and assumptions.
Specific requirements: It encompasses software database requirements, system attributes, and functional requirements.
It manifests the interaction between the software and external users that drive to achieving particular goals. It includes three attributes:
Actors: External users who will interact with the software.
System: Illustrates the intended behavior of the software.
Goals: Outline purposes of the interaction between external users and the software system as goals.
The user stories describe software features from the end-user perspective and scenarios a user might encounter on the software. User stories are considered the vital format for backlog items in most development methodologies, including Agile.
Typically a user story forms in this way:
As a <type of user>, I want <some objective> so that <some reason>.
Example: As a buyer, I want to see more products so that I can add them to my shopping cart.
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) (functional decomposition)
WBS’s motive is to illustrate the complexity of processes and features by breaking them into simpler components. The approach assists the team in analyzing every part of the software, capturing the full project picture at the same time.
The Functional decomposition process may look like this:
High Level Function ->Sub-function -> Process -> Activity
Prototyping bridges the vision gaps between stakeholders and teams and clarifies complicated areas of product development. The purpose of a prototype is to showcase how the functional requirements must be implemented.
Software’s non-functional requirements define quality attributes. They describe how a system should perform and set standards to constraint any specific functionality of the software. You can also call it the system’s quality attributes. Fundamental non-functional requirements may include:
- Security or Regulatory Requirements
Our Software Development Company in Kuwait starts the project by defining functional and non-functional requirements meticulously. Consequently, software engineer requirements help our development team to build the software faster and mitigate development costs. Ultimately, software development is a Transformation of development requirements from multi-page to post-it size.