How To Write Good Software Requirements Specification For Your Mobile Application Development Project
SEPTEMBER 7, 2022
9 min read
When it comes to bespoke mobile app development services, you’ve definitely heard the term “software or mobile app requirements document” quite often. In case you’re looking for how to write a software requirement specification document for mobile application, this article is for you. For experienced technology companies like Dashdevs, this type of a technical design document for mobile applications can be par for the course. However, if you aren’t involved in software engineering, it may be confusing, tedious, and rather troublesome to write a software requirements specification document for android app and structure all that stuff.
We know from working directly with stakeholders at startups and SMEs that a software requirements specification may rapidly become a long and overcomplicated document, leaving it particularly subject to errors and misinterpretations. Nonetheless, if done correctly, it will ensure that your team and business partners are all on the same page and understand the scope, objectives, roles, and timeframes of your project. Unfortunately, too many business owners try to skip this phase because they don’t want to employ an outside company or spend time on it in-house. However, this leads to estimates being exceeded, expectations being unmet, and schedules being overrun. This is why, at Dashdevs, we can create software requirement specification document for each project and get it approved by our clients.
Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to mobile software development, we provide our internal best practices to assist you in decreasing the risk of errors, expediting the process, and achieving more effective results.
What’s a Software Requirement Specification in Software Engineering?
Let’s start with a definition of a software requirements specification (SRS), what it should contain, and why we utilize it on our projects.
What exactly is software requirement documentation? Simply put, it’s your product concept on paper. An excellent SRS example for mobile applications comprises information on what demands your solution addresses, what features it should have and how they should function, what load it should be able to withstand, and when the end product should be delivered. It provides a detailed overview of all functional and non-functional project needs.
A well-written software application requirements document assists in breaking down the problem into smaller parts and improving quality at each stage; it communicates to the tech colleague or application development outsourcing provider what issues the solution should address and how; and it accelerates the testing and validation stages. Furthermore, by including product attributes and needs in the scope statement, company managers may obtain more accurate cost estimates for app development, streamline the engineering process, reduce financial risks, and thereby reduce time-to-market.
Who Writes Software Requirement Specification Document?
Composing an SRS document entails turning broad descriptions of features, tasks, and goals into a comprehensive plan for their technical execution.
It is often written by product and project managers or business analysts who interact directly with customers, do user research (including wireframes and understanding how the product should function), collect forthcoming product needs, and oversee the whole development process. This individual should be perfectly acquainted with the upcoming product.
A good SRS is not only about functioning but also about encompassing company intentions, KPIs, user issues, and so forth.
Managers interact with customers on expected performance by formally or informally providing specifications in an SRS document. Likewise, if the standards change, both, customer or product manager, can inspect and approve them in the documentation. It is also the obligation of the developers to adhere to these requirements.
Types of Requirements in Custom Application Specification Development
A well-structured and clear product specification document is a key step toward project success. It acts as a legal agreement between a company client and a contractor, ensuring that both parties are working toward the same goal.
Dashdevs recommends that our clients meet with their application development partners at least twice, either online or in person, to discuss the needs and expectations. During such discovery workshops, our team interviews product stakeholders, does market research, and makes recommendations on which features should be included to ensure that the product’s design and functionality are matched with the demands of future consumers.
It is critical to acquire and arrange the following types of projects while developing your mobile project.
Business requirements are critical because they describe the project’s concept and its advantages to the company. The final point describes how the solution will generate money or reduce expenditures, providing timelines and specific amounts. Meanwhile, the vision outlines the product’s aims and how it will solve specific business or customer challenges. All of this helps software developers understand your business needs and decide on the optimal technological implementation option.
Collecting business requirements is the beginning point for every software product development process since it is difficult to advance with the definition of key user needs or functional units if no one has the competence to write a business requirements specification.
The skill to write a user requirement specification reveals what customers anticipate from a solution. It should explicitly and exactly outline what the product should do, what features and integrations it should provide, and any limitations it may have. It might contain use cases, UML diagrams, and user flows.
During the information-gathering phase, it is critical to establish user groups and work with diverse clients in order to gain a full understanding of the issue and pass it on to the technical team. Stakeholders and domain experts should endorse the set of software development requirements specification.
In certain contexts, the system requirements document details how the system should function and specifies app functionality. It should also describe required safety precautions, as well as infrastructure integrity and scalability needs.
Because the document might be very lengthy, it has to be separated into functional and non-functional needs for your convenience. However, the two are inextricably linked. As a result, after the non-functional aspects of mobile app needs are established, functional specs may be developed.
To avoid misunderstanding, let’s look at how to write system requirements specification document for mobile app in greater depth.
The Difference Between Functional and Non-Functional Requirements in the Native App Development Process
We’ve previously answered the question “what is system specification in software engineering?” and supplied definitions of user and business requirements. Now, let’s figure out what urgent system-related requirements you need to enable your mobile development partner to construct the correct product.
In software engineering, non-functional requirements specify system capabilities and criteria that increase system functionality. These might include:
- Performance: How responsive should the system be? How fast should it respond to user actions? How quickly should it react to user actions? How much should system capacity change when subjected to a huge load?
- Usability: How simple or difficult should it be for your consumers to comprehend and use the app? Should the solution take into account cultural and language differences?
- Compatibility: Which operating systems, browsers, software versions, and hardware should be supported by the solution? Should it work with any specific programs or processes?
- Reliability: Which portions of the system should be accessible to users at all times? How long (in minutes or hours) can it be down each month, week, or day? Should clients be told if a systemic breakdown occurs unexpectedly?
- Security: Is the system compatible with any specific standards, such as PCI-DSS, GDPR, CCPA, Open Banking, PSD2, or OWASP?What safeguards should be put in place to protect the solution against fraud and cyberattacks? Should various user roles or separate login processes be implemented?
What about functional requirements? It is a detailed explanation of all the tasks and features that your mobile app should have, as well as how it should work and respond to user requests. In truth, you must use plain text, diagrams, schemes, and other visualizations to explain program behavior under certain situations. It’s vital to capture and discuss all of the project’s views and vision utilizing convenient PM tools; else, you risk being ignored or misinterpreted. The following are the most common formats and elements:
- Use cases represent numerous interactions between the solution and users that result in the achievement of certain goals. Each user case is made up of actors (users), systems (functional needs and behavior), and goals (expected outcomes). It should also give context for your information technology business partner; therefore, it should include a description, pre- and post-conditions, principal interaction flow, alternate and exception pathways.
- User stories describe software features from the end-user perspective, and the typical format is as follows: ‘I want [purpose] so that [reason] as a [user type].’ Each user narrative must provide testable and explicit acceptance criteria—the requirements that the application must fulfill in order to be accepted by a product owner, customer, or other stakeholders. Furthermore, all user stories must meet the INVEST quality standards of being Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimable, Small, and Testable.
- Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a graphic document that shows how complicated functional units may be broken down into simpler pieces. In this manner, corporate customers and suppliers may independently assess each component and so develop a holistic picture of the entire project. Smaller functional units are frequently used to calculate a precise project cost estimation. Simply said, a work breakdown structure (WBS) for mobile application development is a useful organizational tool for optimizing your productivity.
- Wireframes and prototypes assist in visualizing the product concept and provide a better understanding of the main functionality and potential user experiences. The easiest method to identify the entire project scope, design user processes, and make early modifications to avoid material losses is to create a collection of drawings.
Other software functional requirements may include the project’s objective, a broad summary of your vision, assumptions, and business rules, as well as specific limitations such as system properties, mobile development platforms or frameworks, and database criteria.
Writing a Comprehensive Product Requirements Specification Document: The Right Approach
Though there is no general solution to creating a product specification sheet, there are a few ground principles and common practices to follow to get it right the first time.
#1 Keep it logical and organized
Spend some time establishing the document structure before you begin writing. This ensures consistency, a 360-degree perspective of the complete product ecosystem, and seamless cooperation among all members of the integrated product development team.
Today’s business owners frequently use ready-to-use product requirements document templates to save time and maintain consistency. However, app specification templates frequently become text-heavy, overcomplicated, and tiresome long-reads. Therefore, we suggest our partners go for visual data, such as diagrams, schemes, and charts.
#2 Make your product development specification exhaustive
Your project documentation should be clear and comprehensive. We’ve previously discussed the many sorts of requirements in software engineering and what information they should contain. By providing concise overviews for each, you minimize the need for designers and developers to waste time on guesses or assumptions and ensure that the completed solution meets the initial requirements.
#3 Product development requirements should be testable
Despite the fact that it is a widely followed standard, company owners frequently fail to follow it. A testable requirement should be precise, unambiguous, quantifiable, and specify just one function. When working on the documentation, make sure that your specs are verifiable; otherwise, it will be difficult to determine whether they were adequately executed.
#4 Remain neutral about the implementation
Product requirements do not go into detail on implementation since SRS specifies what the application should do but not how it should accomplish it or how it should look. This technique enables a more useful and efficient design process, as well as flexible needs that are not governed by specific implementation instructions.
#5 Finalize documentation with the product team
When all the requirements for mobile app specifications have been gathered, request that your product development team study and analyze the documentation before the implementation begins. As a result, you increase team participation in the process, their happiness, and the likelihood that specifications will be met with their demands.
Though creating product specifications is still time-consuming and difficult for most businesses, it is worthwhile. The investment will pay off by improving your iOS or Android app development process, resolving all developers’ product inquiries, and enabling the kick-off. Furthermore, the mobile app development specification document proves its relevance in how to estimate the development costs, define priorities, set up a schedule with major milestones and choose a technology stack for mobile development.
With a comprehensive understanding of the most frequent types of software requirements and techniques for generating product specifications, you can efficiently apply this knowledge to get the desired result. A good software requirement specification document serves as a road map for developers. Don’t know how to write a good software requirement specification for android application and need assistance? Dashdevs will assist you in getting started. Our team provides a comprehensive set of mobile app development services, including requirements elicitation and prototype design, as well as architecture, full-stack development, and lifelong support.