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HOW TO CREATE SRS FOR WEB APPLICATION. ADVICE FROM EXPERIENCED DEVELOPERS

March 26, 2018
MARINA DANILOVA
Project Manager
An excellent SRS is worth a thousand genius ideas. So what is a system requirement specification (SRS)? What should it contain? How can you develop it for your project? Read on to find answers to all these questions.

SRS is one of the most important documents you need to write if you plan to create your own startup or build a software product. This document outlines what you need and expect your product to do. A good SRS is a reference point for everyone involved in the project, from stakeholders to coders, designers, and testers. The more detailed SRS you create, the fewer misunderstandings and delays you will face when seeking professionals that offer software solutions for startups.

CAN YOU SKIP CREATING AN SRS?

Startups are often chasing impossible deadlines and don't have time to waste on preparation. That is why they think it is possible to produce a quality software product without creating a system requirements specification. Before you follow in their steps, consider the benefits of a good SRS:

  • You save time. Consider how many times you will have to explain your expectations to different developers. It is much quicker to outline all your needs in one document and refer coders to it whenever questions arise.
  • You save money. Whatever engagement model you choose to complete your project, ambiguous requirements mean you waste your own time and need to pay extra for every change in your software product.
  • You have a better understanding with the developer team. It is essential that your web development company understands your needs and goals. This way you will get the product you expect and won't waste precious time on unnecessary debate.
  • You feel confident. When your business is still in the beginning stages, it is always a good idea to create an outline of where you need to go. System requirements specification will provide a roadmap for your startup developer team and decrease the chance of failure on takeoff.
Are you sure your startup idea will pan out? If not, pay close attention to the educational industry. All the IT giants are investing in EdTech nowadays; maybe you can benefit from it too.

HOW DO YOU CREATE AN SRS?

Completing a system requirements specification may seem like an tedious and troublesome task. However, there are ways to make it easier on yourself. Look up standard templates available in abundance online. Choose the one that seems closer to your needs and modify it as you go.

The most important source of information on writing an SRS is an ISO/IEC/IEEE 29148. This standard was adopted in 2011 and superseded an older IEEE 830-1998. Here are the guidelines from the newer standard to help you start your SRS:

  1. Formulate your requirements. Requirements to be met should solve your problems and help in achieving your goals. They are described by measurable conditions and bound by constraints. You must be able to verify whether every requirement is met when the project is complete. Every requirement can be ranked to signify its importance to the project, development priority or timing.
  2. Outline your conditions. Conditions reflect the requirements' measurable attributes. They help you verify whether the software meets your requirements.
  3. Place your constraints. Constraints restrict coders and designers. Therefore, they should be chosen carefully not to impede the development process. Constraints can be implemented across all requirements or the selected few. You can place restrictions concerning the project's duration and budget, physical limitations, national laws or software interfaces and platforms.
Have you already selected a reliable development team to make your idea happen? Learn how to make the right choice in six simple steps.

WHY IS REQUIREMENTS TRACEABILITY INVALUABLE TO STARTUPS?

Successful startup development needs requirements to be identifiable and traceable. It means you should be able to follow the life-cycle of every requirement from an idea to implementation. Traceability also allows you to track how requirements influence each other and other software development stages. Traceability enables stakeholders to track initial hypothesis about user needs to specific features implemented in a software project.

While some developers consider traceability documentation an outdated method, a relic of bureaucratic past, a professional outsourcing development team for startups can gain significant value from traceability procedures.

Traceability facilitates requirements audit. If every feature, design or test can be traced back to an SRS and from there to a user requirement, it is easy to tell significant and useful features from those that can be eliminated without affecting the project. As a result, you save time and money on unnecessary development stages. It is also easy to check whether all requirements were satisfied by the software development services.

Traceability expedites impact analysis for any user or system requirement changes. Once you realize how requirements influence each other and different development stages, you can evaluate the scope of the impact long before you implement the changes. Alternatively, if you plan a change in design or features, you can assess the potential impact on system requirements. This means you will be able to make informed decisions about any changes to the project that might influence its scope, budget or schedule.

While you are still working on an SRS, learn about the balance of quality in speed in software development in our article and decide on a right winning strategy to create your own app.

WHAT MAKES FOR A GOOD REQUIREMENT?

To help you speed the process of writing an SRS along, we have compiled a list of characteristics every set of requirements should possess. After jotting down all requirements, use this checklist to make sure you get the most out of your SRS. So, your requirements should be:

  • Complete. The SRS you create should contain all the information your custom software development company might need to complete the project.
  • Explicit. Your needs should be easy to understand and phrased in a way that will not lead to misunderstandings.
  • Measurable. Every requirement should contain measurable conditions and constraints to be validated and verified.
  • Consistent. The same standard terminology should be applied throughout the SRS to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Consistent. All requirement should support each other, free of conflicts.
  • Viable. Requirements should not require significant technological breakthroughs and should fit within the basic system constraints including the timeline, cost, and risk.
  • Free of implementation constraints. Requirements should explain what you need without placing unnecessary restrictions on the developers and designers. Let the web development services providers do their job, and the finished result will be better than you could hope.
The more precise your requirements are, the better developers will understand your needs. Here is a subtle trick to make most of your SRS. Avoid these terms at all cost:

  • Superlatives
Wrong: The system shall be the best among similar products.

Right: The system shall implement feature_1, feature_2, and feature_3.

  • Subjective terms
Wrong: The software interface shall be user-friendly.

Right: The software shall be installed in less than 1 minute.

  • Ambiguous phrases
Wrong: The project shall be completed in a minimum possible amount of time.

Right: The project shall be completed within 2 months.

  • Comparative phrases
Wrong: The application design shall be better than that of the main competitors.

Right: The application design shall contain three primary colors.

  • Loopholes
Wrong: The system shall employ material design, if possible.

Right: The system shall employ material design.

Now you understand how to create a sound system requirements specification for your project. Use these guidelines and standard samples to save time and resources while creating your SRS.

A high-quality requirements specification is necessary for the successful completion of any software development project, so we are going to share our knowledge and experience in a series of articles. Stay tuned for our next blog posts and SRS template guides:

  • Creating an SRS template step-by-step by analyzing requirements.
  • How to develop an SRS template for a CRM project.
  • Your perfect SRS template for an EdTech project.
You will also get an SRS template download options to develop a requirements specification for your project. And if you are not sure how to create an SRS for your app, let FreshCode help you!

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