11 Key attributes of System Requirements Specifications
System Requirement Specification
A successful software development project takes up a lot of time, money, and effort. However, it is not impossible. It is made possible by understanding the key expectations from the system and working effortlessly to address those expectations through the developed software. The key expectations, purposes, and goals define the final software. And, a listing of these expectations and goals is called a system requirements specifications document.
What is SRS ?
A system/software requirements specifications (SRS) document describes the software system. It answers questions such as what the software will do and how will the software perform. The SRS document describes the expectations of the stakeholders such as end-users or business owners from the software’s features and functionalities that will make their work easier and efficient. SRS is a framework for the software development team.
An SRS document describes each feature that the software system must have and each functionality that it should be able to perform. An SRS document details the scope of the work for the software development team who will work on developing the software and implementing it. The developed software must meet all the requirements mentioned in the SRS document. In this article, we tell you the key characteristics of a system/software requirements specifications document.
Important criteria for any System Requirements Specifications (SRS)
The SRS document must mention all the key requirements of the software system specific to features, functionalities, design, limitations, and external interfaces. It must talk about the various problems that the software will be able to resolve and the output it will produce for every kind of input data fed into it.
There must not be any conflicts between the different requirements defined in the SRS document. For example, there must not be any conflict between the system features and performance expected from the software or between the high-quality output expected from the system and security. Consistency must be followed in terms of specification of features, terms used for inputs and outputs, and actions required to generate outcomes.
The SRS document must describe the real-world situations that the software can resolve. It must respond to questions such as what is the current operational atmosphere for the software and how will it interface and interact with that setting. This is difficult to achieve since the real world keeps on changing and therefore, you must ensure to check for the correctness factor frequently.
The software development team knows what is viable to achieve and what is not from the software. You must be fully aware of the capabilities that the system can have within the given budget and operating environment and what features are difficult to achieve. Therefore, the technical and financial requirements must be interlinked to identify the capabilities and limitations of the system.
There must be as little ambiguity in the system requirements specification as possible since unclarity may lead to problems in the software development stage. One way to achieve clarity is by mentioning the requirements in clear, simple, straightforward language that every stakeholder understands. You must define the new terms or applications and must structure the sentence in a way that it leads to only one, unique interpretation
You must have in place some tests or inspection techniques that can check whether the software or system developed executes the requirements mentioned in the SRS document successfully.
You must be able to modify or amend the SRS easily without much effort. The SRS template must be such that it can take in those modifications easily without affecting the other points. However, you must check the modifications carefully with the already existing requirements for possible overlap or total contradiction. Furthermore, it is also important to keep a reference of all the modifications made to maintain the history of changes.
Placed in order
The requirements for the software or system must be ranked in order of priority and all the stakeholders must approve this priority. This will enable the software development team to understand the importance of each requirement or feature and include them in each iterative cycle of software development. Some of the requirements are essential while some are desirable. Therefore, rank these features as essential, conditional, and optional to distinguish the criticality of each requirement for the system.
You must be able to trace the requirement to its source and also to its final output. This will enable the system development team to have a clear view of the requirements and their uses. Because of the traceability factor, each requirement will have a unique identity in terms of origin, design, code, and test case.
The system requirements specifications must be testable to pass the final approval. You must have the assessment criteria to test its success or failure depending on the mentioned criteria.
You must be able to justify the presence of a requirement in the SRS document. Each stakeholder affected by this system or software must agree and approve each of the system requirements specifications mentioned in the document. Their acceptance must follow a process of understanding the requirement and analysing its implication on the output.
Conclusion About SRS (System Requirements Specifications)
We understand that preparing system requirements specification is a difficult and time-taking process. However, that does not take away the significance of this extremely central part of the pre-software development process. Ensure that the requirements have the above qualities to qualify for inclusion in an SRS document.
You can also contact us to help you with preparing a detailed, clear, accurate, and organized SRS document for you. We, at Technovisors, have the relevant knowledge, experience, and hence, the expertise in developing system requirements specifications for many systems and software for multiple industries.
About the Author
(CISA, FCA, CS, DISA (ICAI), FAFP (ICAI))
Pathik is a multi-disciplinary professional with more than 22 years of experience in compliance, risk management, accounting, system audits, IT consultancy, and digital marketing. He has extensive knowledge of Anti-Money Laundering rules and regulations, and he helps companies comply with legal requirements. Pathik also helps companies generate value from their IT investments.