Analysing a Software Development Company’s Requirements Specification Process

Analysing a Software Development Company’s Requirements Specification Process

Requirements for a project can be grouped into three separate phases:

1) Rough proposal stage

During the first phase requirements are gathered by the software development company with the purpose of establishing a rough quote. This allows you as a customer to analyse the software development company’s ability to understand your requirements as well as giving you a chance to consider the economical feasibility of the project.

2) Exact feature and layout specification

Before a contract is established, the exact features and the precise layouts of the end product should be determined and specified in a document that can be used as an attachment to the software development contract. This document is usually referred to as an SRS (Software Requirements Specification).

If you as a client request any changes to the SRS once the contract is signed, be prepared to pay for those changes, even if the changes are rather minor in scope. Such surcharges are usually rendered upon you as a client as the software development team spends a significant amount of time studying the feature and layout specification. Any changes requested might bring about modifications in other documents, the database and give rise to meetings where the team discusses how to best implement such changes. So from a macro economical perspective it’s definitely best to review the SRS in great detail before the project kicks off.

3) Interpretation of the SRS by the software developers

The SRS is usually not enough for the software developers to start coding (at least to start coding without making too many mistakes). First they have to interpret the SRS and write a page, feature or design specification (the name of this document differs among providers). We’ve chosen to call it an SDS (Software Design Specification). This document is written by the developers who are working on the project, and signed off by the project manager.

Conclusions

For the software development team the process of writing SDSs is very important. During this phase they get an in-depth overall picture of the project and any remaining uncertainties are sorted out. The SDS is also a component used by the group responsible for testing the final application.

Ask your prospective software development providers on how they manage the requirements of your projects – and make sure the process is mature enough to deliver what you are looking for!

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About the author

Pretium lorem primis senectus habitasse lectus donec ultricies tortor adipiscing fusce morbi volutpat pellentesque consectetur risus molestie curae malesuada. Dignissim lacus convallis massa mauris enim mattis magnis senectus montes mollis phasellus.

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