User requirements document

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The user requirement(s) document (URD) or user requirement(s) specification is a document usually used in software engineering that specifies what the user expects the software to be able to do.

Once the required information is completely gathered it is documented in a URD, which is meant to spell out exactly what the software must do and becomes part of the contractual agreement. A customer cannot demand features not in the URD, whilst the developer cannot claim the product is ready if it does not meet an item of the URD.

The URD can be used as a guide to planning cost, timetables, milestones, testing, etc. The explicit nature of the URD allows customers to show it to various stakeholders to make sure all necessary features are described.

Formulating a URD requires negotiation to determine what is technically and economically feasible. Preparing a URD is one of those skills that lies between a science and an art, requiring both software technical skills and interpersonal skills.[1]

Often a URD includes priority ranking for each requirement. A typical system might be as follows:

  • M Mandatory requirement. 'This feature must be built into the final system.'
  • D Desirable requirement. 'This feature should be built into the final system unless the cost is too high.'
  • O Optional requirement. 'This feature can be built into any system we have.'
  • E Possible future enhancement. 'This feature may be used in the final system, however we just want the feature in and of itself.'

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Robertson, Suzanne; James Robertson. Mastering the Requirements Process (3rd ed.). Addison-Wesley Professional. ISBN 0321815742.