Get the best of
The Daily Bundle in your
inbox every week

How to Write System Requirements Specification Documents

By Arooj Shakeel
September 19, 2023
An System Requirements Specification outlines the system's required behaviors, functions, capabilities, and potential constraints. There are both functional and non-functional requirements.

Get the best of The Daily Bundle in your inbox every week

Consider the following example: You are in command of designing a 17-story building, but the blueprints still need to be included. Moving forward without this critical document puts the entire project at risk of serious errors. Launching a new software project is similar because, without a blueprint, you will likely produce a system without the necessary software functionality. Also, it needs to be aligned with the needs of the customer’s precise requirements, such as those in a system requirement specifications (SRS) document, lay the groundwork for your team to deliver the right product while avoiding costly reworks.

But where should you begin? This article will cover SRS documents, how to use them, and provide examples to help you get started.


How do we define System Requirements Specification?

It is a document that specifies what the software must do and how it must function. It lays the groundwork for everyone involved in the project to understand the most important details.

An SRS outlines the system’s required behaviors, functions, capabilities, and potential constraints. There are both functional and non-functional requirements. Outside of the customer’s needs, design suggestions and information are not included.

All necessary stakeholders approve, demonstrating that they understand the project requirements and that everyone agrees. However, the SRS serves as an insurance policy to which any party can refer in the event of uncertainty.


Why Should You Use SRS Documents?

Using an SRS ensures that project specifics are crystal clear, lowering the risk of rework and wasted time. 

Among the many advantages of using this type of document are the following:

Obtaining Beneficial Customer Feedback 

A customer confirms that your company understands the problems that it solves and how the software must behave to meet the challenges. Visuals such as charts and tables can help to clarify things further.

Work is divided into smaller pieces. 

An SRS contains much information but breaks problems into smaller, more manageable chunks.

Assisting as a Parent Document 

The SRS is frequently referenced in the work’s scope, software design specifications, and other documents. It can help in validating products. The SRS serves as a parent document for any additional documents created after it. Did we do everything correctly? Examine the SRS.

The SRS aids in identifying problems earlier in the development process, allowing for better time management. It is much easier, for example, to update specifications before development begins than later in the process.


SRS Format: How Do You Write a System Requirements Specification?

An SRS has several essential components or ingredients, similar to following a recipe. A good SRS must answer a few key questions, such as:

  1. What should the software accomplish?
  2. How should it act?
  3. What are the performance expectations?
  4. Are there any limitations? 
  5. And, if so, what exactly are they?

An SRS outline is an excellent place to start. A rough outline of the different sections can assist you in getting ready to fill in the essential details. 

Think about the following:

Make an introductory paragraph. 

The introduction discusses what the software must do (and should not do). Write this section with input from the development team and product owners. Why is it necessary to construct the product? What problems does it address? And who will use the product? In addition, the SRS introduction may include an overview of what is included in the document.

Make a broad description. 

Concentrate on the product’s functionality. Define the hardware and user interfaces that will be required. What are the various features? What do end users anticipate from the software? This section will eventually cover system interfaces, user interfaces, hardware interfaces, software interfaces, and other topics.

Tend to involve Specific Requirement Specifications. 

This section delves into specifics about the product to ease the design and validate that it meets requirements. It describes all the inputs the software must handle, highlights any necessary outcomes, and defines any required integrations. SRS must include the software system’s performance criteria and attributes, for example, readability, availability, security, profitability, etc.

Once you’ve completed the basic outline, you can begin filling it out with your team and customer assistance. Obtain final approval after completion. Everyone involved in the project must review and approve the final version of the SRS.


What Errors Should You Avoid When Creating a System Requirements Specification?

The process will become much faster as you gain more experience with SRS development. However, when starting, it is beneficial to have a list of common mistakes to avoid. 

Think about the following:

  1. Failure to Include a Comprehensive Dictionary. 

Is there jargon in your SRS that only people in a specific industry understand? If so, include definitions of any terms not commonly understood in a dictionary section for easy viewing.

  1. Confusion is created by combining concepts. 

Maintain the organization of your document and present information to readers in a logical flow. To avoid confusion, avoid mixing concepts throughout the document.

  1. Not fully comprehending the end user.

Who will use the software, and what are the expected outcomes? Consider an application that is supposed to generate reports. Some specifications may specify how the user will click a specific button to generate various reports. 

Ensure you understand what is expected from the report generation software and who clicks on that button so you can understand the user and the required functionality.

  1. Being undecided. 

Make sure that your requirements are understood. An SRS is intended to prevent misunderstanding, so ensure that the document does not generate one. Ensure that you do not present features that have not yet been defined for each functionality or situation description.

Example of a System Requirements Specification

Krazytech, a technology information publisher, created an SRS document using a flight management project as an example. Remember that it contains many sections and features we mentioned earlier as you read it. The table of contents provides context for readers as they read, and the descriptions are clear and concise. The visual components aid comprehension of the concepts presented.


Increasing Your Chances of Success

Creating a solid SRS ensures that you possess a “go-to” document for the duration of your development project. The goal is to iron out any potential implementation kinks before the program development begins. At the same time, the document must be adaptable and scalable to keep up with changing product demands.

Keeping the tips above in mind when writing and reviewing requirements allows you to create a project that closely aligns with your client’s needs, avoids costly mistakes, and ultimately helps you build better products.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Get the best of The Daily Bundle in your inbox every week