The realm of the software development industry is the most competitive space in the modern-day business world. Therefore, business organizations have to be careful at every step during their project development process. Therefore, writing a good Software Requirements Specifications (SRS) document becomes an important aspect of project development.
As a business organization, you would never trust your software development project partner to develop a project based on oral discussions. Haphazard planning would lead to chaotic results and it would eventually hamper the overall performance of the software in the market. Therefore, to avoid these scenarios, one has to write a good SRS document.
An SRS element is one of the most critical aspects of software development. Moreover, a good SRS document is a roadmap that keeps everyone involved in the process of software development on their toes. Therefore, here in this blog, we will discuss in detail the good SRS elements, important aspects for writing an SRS document that works, and what are the other attributes of good SRS requirements.
What are an SRS document and its importance?
An SRS document includes all the specific requirements that are needed for the development of the project. For example, one needs to develop a commercial chat application that has a greater visual appeal and focuses on the features the enterprises need. Through a good SRS document, the business organization can put down their idea on paper and see it turn into a reality.
A solid SRS building document will have a clear set of ensured requirements. It will help the firm to translate the app idea into a language that the developers can easily understand. The document will have everything that the client requires and the kind of features the developers will provide. Moreover, the document will also help in estimating the cost of project development and assist the firm to define the project scope.
With a good SRS document, the software developers would have a clear idea about the tech stack they must include and help them to build a strong base for project development. Moreover, the design and the quality assurance team would also get the required insights about the project. The design team could use the given SRS elements in delivering unmatched quality design. And the quality assurance team could also create the test guidelines according to the business needs.
The Software Requirements Specifications (SRS) document is important as it is the single source of all the information. Through the document, the entire project development team would be clear of the expectations and thus there would be no misunderstanding at the time of project development.
What are the attributes of a good SRS document?
For a good SRS document, there are some specific elements that it must have. These characteristics would make the document more helpful for both the developers and the stakeholders.
1. It must be measurable:
A highly measured SRS document is essential as it will display the project requirements clearly. Thus, it helps in the timely completion of the project and the product gets verified against all the given specifications.
2. It must be explicit:
The basic attribute of an SRS document is that must be easy to understand. The more complicated an SRS document is, the tougher it would be to develop quality software. The document must have everything in line and order so that the stakeholders would get everything precise in their hands
3. It must be Flexible:
A rigid SRS document is not advised because, in a dynamic business environment, things could change with time and requirements. Therefore, a good SRS document must be flexible enough to include all the updates. In addition, make sure that there is no redundant information added to the document as it will make it difficult for the stakeholders to understand. If there is a change in information, it must be updated for every section.
4. It must be thorough:
The presented SRS element must not have any loopholes and it must be complete. It must give enough ideas to the software development team to develop a superlative product that is tested and verified by the QA team. Moreover, a complete SRS document would allow the software to meet the user’s needs without bugs.
5. It must be consistent throughout:
Every section in the SRS document will complement each other. It must not have contradictory thoughts as it makes the document difficult to understand. In addition, the document must be neatly formatted and also have the same terminology used throughout.
6. It must be accurate:
One of the most important attributes of a good SRS document is that it must be accurate. The goals defined in the document must be realistic and precise to avoid any further confusion. There must be no ambiguity and indecisiveness in the document as it would make the base for project development weak.
7. It must be verifiable:
The SRS document must be transparent and everyone involved in the process of project development must have access. The requirements mentioned in it must be on point so that the developers won’t require any extra information. Everything must be available in the SRS document.
8. It must be viable:
There must be nothing superficial in the SRS element. It must fit the reality of the current business environment and have everything right from budget to project timeline in order. Most importantly, a good SRS document must not be dependent on upcoming technological breakthroughs and innovations.
9. There must be no implementation barriers:
The SRS document must be detailed enough to finish the project development process. Moreover, it must be overly specific to post some hurdles during the time of implementation. While making the SRS document, though must be given to the third-party services as a lot would depend on them during project development.
What is the process of writing a good SRS document?
There are two major bifurcations that must be kept in mind while building an SRS document. These bifurcations are functional and non-functional requirements. The product managers make the project requirements after having in-depth communication with the clients and therefore there is a certain process to it.
Below are the tried and tested 6 steps that would help in writing a good SRS document.
1. Clear communication
So it is essential that the inception of a solid SRS building must be based on clear communication. Therefore, the project managers or the business analysts, responsible for writing an SRS document must have thorough communication skills. They must be able to remove all the levels of uncertainties with the stakeholders by asking them about their project expectations.
The project managers must conduct small interviews to ‘read between the lines and understand the project requirements. This communication process will help them to start their research on the right note.
It is inevitable to crystalize every possible detail during the communication process for the project manager with the stakeholder. Understanding the client’s idea and their thought process about the project is very important as it will help in making a more customer-specific product.
Simple communication will not help the analysts to understand the specific requirements. Thus, the product developed from this communication would be subpar and will not be able to survive the competition. Therefore, a clear communication process at the nascent stage of the software project is very important.
2. Discovering more about the product
In the SRS building, the discovery stage holds a very critical position. At this stage, the software development team would have a chance to explore the test cases and explore more about the software idea. They would understand the project’s specific purpose, the problem it is intended to solve, identify the user problems and more.
The project managers here would make a list of used cases vs user stories of applications made on solving specific problems. The used cases would help in granularly describing the function in itself. Moreover, the user stories would help in understanding the feedback given by the target audience to a specific app.
In addition, during the discovery step of SRS building, the project managers would help in understanding the full potential of the software idea.
3. SRS building structure
After analyzing the potential of the project, it is time to build the SRS document and begin the writing process. The SRS elements may vary according to the requirements but a typical documentation structure would look like this:
Introduction: It will have a short description of the
- Entire document’s content,
- The complete idea of the software that is intended to be developed,
- Who are the targeted audience? what solution the software would provide to the targeted audience
In addition, the introduction section of a good SRS document would have the scope of the project and would lay out the terms used in the document.
· Entire description of the project: Everything related to explaining the idea of the project to the user needs and system features is included in the project description. Moreover, it would have different sections for functional and non-functional requirements as well. Here the functional requirements are the system specifications without which the software will not function properly. Also, the non-functional requirements will show how to implement the features of the document properly.
The description of the project would also have a clear mention of the technical solutions used in the tech stack. Therefore, a good SRS document would have all the required tech stack details.
4. Having a general description of the project
It is necessary to give a general overview of the main features of the application or the software project in a good SRS document. In the general description section, just mention what is the purpose of the project, its features, and how the app is going to solve the problem of the targeted audiences.
5. State the functional and non-functional requirements clearly
To understand the attributes of good SRS requirements, it is necessary to have a strong core. And by writing a strong core, we mean to have clearly mentioned the functional and non-functional requirements.
Therefore, to have the functional and non-functional requirements intact, add some more information in the general description section. It will help the software developers to have a clear guidance about the technical requirements. This bifurcation will also help in boosting the overall productivity of the software development team.
6. Keep the stakeholders on the same page
The last, but perhaps the most important step that leads to building a good SRS document. Client approval is ‘the most important aspect of any software development setup. Therefore, it is necessary throughout the software development process, that the client remains on the same page as their service providers.
This method will help in keeping the unnecessary pressure off of the software developers and allow them to show their creativity. It will also reduce the time taken for project development and allow the developers to submit the entire package at once.
The biggest secret to creating a good SRS document is to make it simple and easy to understand. Therefore, a good practice is to include the SRS elements that are direct and initiate great call-to-action. Moreover, it is necessary to include similar nomenclature while defining the SRS building process so that the entire document remains consistent.
We at Third Rock Techno believe in keeping our clients at the same page while writing the SRS document. We have experienced project managers and business analysts that have in-depth industry experience and our work portfolio is the clear testimony of this. Therefore, if you want to become the best in your genre by developing a great app, it all starts with a good SRS document. Contact us to know more about how great SRS building can change the fortunes of a software.