Software requirements specification

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A software requirements specification (SRS) is a description of a software system to be developed, its defined after business requirements specification (CONOPS) also called stakeholder requirements specification (StRS) other document related is the system requirements specification (SyRS). The software requirements specification (SRS) lays out functional and non-functional requirements, and may include a set of use cases that describe user interactions that the software must provide.

Software requirements specification establishes the basis for an agreement between customers and contractors or suppliers (in market-driven project, these roles may be played by the marketing and development divisions) on what the software product is to do as well as what it is not expected to do. Software requirements specification permits a rigorous assessment of requirements before design can begin and reduces later redesign. It should also provide a realistic basis for estimating product costs, risks, and schedules.[1] Used appropriately, software requirements specifications can help prevent software project failure.[2]

The software requirements specification document enlists enough and necessary requirements that are required for the project development.[3] To derive the requirements, the developer needs to have clear and thorough understanding of the products to be developed or being developed. This is achieved and refined with detailed and continuous communications with the project team and customer till the completion of the software.

The SRS may be one of a contract deliverable Data Item Descriptions[4] or have other forms of organizationally-mandated content.


An example organization of an SRS is as follows:[5]


The Software Requirements Specification (SRS) is a communication tool between stakeholders and software designers. The specific goals of the SRS are:

  • Facilitating reviews
  • Describing the scope of work
  • Providing a reference to software designers (i.e. navigation aids, document structure)
  • Providing a framework for testing primary and secondary use cases
  • Including features to customer requirements
  • Providing a platform for ongoing refinement (via incomplete specs or questions)

Requirements smells[edit]

Following the idea of code smells, the notion of requirements smells has been proposed to describe issues in requirements specification where the requirement is not necessarily wrong but could be problematic. In particular, the requirements smell :[6]

  • is an indicator for a quality problem of a requirements artifact.
  • does not necessarily lead to a defect and, thus, has to be judged by the context.
  • has a concrete location in the requirements artifact itself, e.g. a word or a sequence.
  • has a concrete detection mechanism (which can be automatic or manual and more or less accurate).

Examples of requirements smells are Subjective Language, Ambiguous Adverbs and Adjectives, Superlatives and Negative Statements.[6] Several of these smells can also be automatically detected with tools like Requirements Scout.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bourque, P.; Fairley, R.E. (2014). "Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK)". IEEE Computer Society. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Software requirements specification helps to protect IT projects from failure". Retrieved 19 December 2016. 
  3. ^ Pressman, Roger (2010). Software Engineering: A Practitioner's Approach. Boston: McGraw Hill. p. 123. ISBN 9780073375977. 
  5. ^ Stellman, Andrew & Greene, Jennifer (2005). Applied software project management. O'Reilly Media, Inc. p. 308. ISBN 0596009488. 
  6. ^ a b Femmer, Henning; Méndez Fernández, Daniel; Wagner, Stefan; Eder, Sebastian (2017). "Rapid quality assurance with Requirements Smells". Journal of Systems and Software. 123: 190–213. doi:10.1016/j.jss.2016.02.047. 

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