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Requirements Specification


Freddy Czaja

A specification describes all requirements of the client, the delivery and performance of the contractor. The specifications do not provide precise information on the implementation, this is the task of the functional specification, it should therefore be kept as general as possible (and yet as restrictive as necessary) to give the goal-oriented realization of the project scope. The Requirements Specification should be prepared as early as possible, based on the beginning of the project, in order to build a common understanding internally and externally. Other designations for the specifications are: Software Requirements Specification, catalog of requirements and customer specification. Once the specifications have been prepared, the contractor will draw up the functional specification.

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WHO CREATES THE Requirements Specification?

Creator is usually the Client. If there is no specialist competence in the company, the Requirements  specifications will be drawn up in cooperation with a service provider or the subsequent contractor. But this entails the danger that the solution is not projected on the goals and problems of the client, but on the possibilities of the contractor.

WHY DO YOU NEED A Requirements Specification?

A Requirements Specification is important for a successful project for several reasons. At the beginning of the project, it forces the client to deal with the project in depth, rather than superficially treating it ("the contractor will do well"). It helps the client and the project stakeholders to understand the goals, to define requirements, to find open questions, to assess risks and much more. Above all, the common understanding is of great importance: If the boss thinks about pears and the project manager thinks about apples, then there will be problems - which ultimately costs money. If the goals and requirements are in the Requirements Specification, black and white, then you reach a common understanding. Incidentally, this also applies to the later contractor. The specifications are therefore the basis for a successful project.

If the project is awarded by tender, bids can be compared against the Requirements Specification. This helps the client to choose the right partner and to remain objective. Furthermore, potential contractors understand the project better and can thus better formulate the specification and offer.


The specifications should be limited to the essentials and be written comprehensibly. Industry-specific terminology should be sufficiently explained. A disproportionately high technical terminology should be avoided. The specifications can also contain tables, sketches and graphics that illustrate the information. The structure of the individual areas is not fixed and can therefore differ from company to company. A version directory should be integrated that documents the versioning. Also a table of contents is obligatory.


- Starting situation
- Goals
- Description actual state
- Description target concept
- Functional requirements (functions of the product)
- Non-functional requirements (efficiency, extensibility, reliability, etc.)
- Delivery
- Milestones and phase planning of the project (schedule)
- Open questions
- Acceptance criteria
- Glossary
- References


Initial situation

Why the project?
How did the project idea come about?
What problems are there?
What strategy does the company have?


What should be achieved with the new software?
What should the result look like?
What are the advantages for the company?


The goal of the newly developed software is to depict the value storage of gold and silver for all customers down to the smallest detail. For this purpose, there should be a separate customer area on the website, which is easy to understand and to use.

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