A software requirements specification (also referred to as a system or project requirements specification) is a document that describes the software that you want your technology partner to develop for you. Usually, a specification document is drafted either when choosing a supplier – if you’d like a number of potential suppliers to provide detailed quotes, or once you’ve selected your desired supplier and signed an IT outsourcing contract with them.
You may choose to prepare the document on your own, or get professionals do help you. Some IT companies, including Future Processing, provide assistance in preparing requirements specification documents through dedicated workshops.
It is worth mentioning that a requirements specification document serves as a prelude to further discussions about the software to be developed, rather than describe the final version of the software. It is quite often the case that specifications are tweaked throughout projects.
A software requirements specification allows you to present your idea and needs in a well-structured manner which can be later shared with the development team to enhance the common understanding of the software to be developed.
What should a requirements specification contain?
A software requirements specification should provide a detailed picture of the software to be developed including its goals, functional and non-functional requirements and project glossary. Other important sections include technical requirements, implementation requirements and information about the users. Requirements specification documents will vary depending on whether you are asking your supplier to develop an existing piece of software or to create one from scratch.
How to write a requirements specification? What is a good requirements specification?
A requirements specification in software engineering is usually directed at the developers or their technical managers. It should therefore contain highly detailed technical information while still being clear enough for business users who would eventually accept and use the software. A good requirements specification should be clear, unambiguous, correct and as complete as possible at the moment of its creation.
When writing a software specification document, it is worth starting from the basics and being as clear and precise throughout as possible. It is good to include as much detail as possible even if it means you repeat yourself. The level of detail covered by your specification, will determine the ability of your potential supplier to provide more or less accurate estimations of time and cost.
Writing a requirements specification can be a daunting task and there are many things to remember, many issues to consider and much information to cover, organise and communicate. To help you with writing a requirements specification document, we have created an editable, Word document template which you can simply download and complete for any supplier you choose to work with.
Do you need a requirements specification template for new software?
If you would like to see an example of a software requirements specification, download our template which has been designed specifically for those clients who need a requirements specification document for a new piece of software.
This requirements specification template has been organised into eight sections divided into further areas with descriptions of what you should cover in each part. To use it, simply download the document, edit the descriptions, add any custom sections you need and send it off to your chosen IT services company. We wish you good luck with your project.