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How to Write a Software Requirement Specification (SRS)


What’s the Software Requirement Specification (SRS)?

The SRS is a document that describes the detailed requirements of how the software should function to meet the business and user needs. It is only one of many documents to enable the development a working software, but without being properly documented, it’ll cause bad consequences on the project results.


Why’s the SRS important?

The SRS is an essential document for all development activities from the initiation to the completion of the project because it reflects the most relevant information that the software development team needs to understand and implement the project. The more precise and detailed the requirements, the easier it will be for developers to implement their tasks. An effective SRS will help:

  • provide necessary information to accurately estimate the project costs, risks, and delivery timeline
  • give the team a clear roadmap to follow and achieve project objectives
  • ensure information transparency across teams and parties
  • serve as a source of information for user acceptance testing
  • build a stable foundation for future customization and enhancement


5 Steps to Create a Good SRS

Start with an outline

As always, it’s important to make your document structured and focused. This will help your outsourcing development team avoid unnecessary effort in reading project requirements back and forth. As a result, it will reduce the risk of missing information across teams. You should also ensure the three main parts of the SRS, including the introduction, overall description, and detailed features and requirements, to create a rigorous outsourcing software document

Take a look at an outline example here:

  • Introduction:
    • Project purpose
    • Project scope
    • Glossary and reference
  • Overall Description:
    • User needs
    • Assumptions and dependencies
  • Detailed Features and Requirements:
    • Functional requirements
    • Non-functional requirements
    • External interface requirements


Clarify the project overview

Starting the SRS with a clear introduction to describe the project’s purpose and give readers an overview of the project’s big picture. The introduction should cover the following contents:

  • Project purpose: what’s the project built for? Answer this question to help the readers understand the aims and objectives of the project.
  • Project scope: what’re the business goals? What values does the project deliver? Find the answers to these questions to make clear the project's sophistication.
  • Glossary and reference: explain the terms and acronyms used in the document. Show your reference sources to readers to consolidate the transmitted information.


Understand users and project risks

All developing effort is to ensure that the project is completed and meets the user's expectation. To achieve this success, you need to pay enough attention to analyzing:

  • User needs: define your software’s end-users and how they use it. Correctly understanding the user's needs will give you a clear direction on how your software should be built.
  • Assumptions and dependencies: think of assumptions and dependencies that might impact fulfilling the requirements outlined in your SRS. And take note of external factors, for example, software components reused from another project. This is to prepare for any upcoming challenges in the project implementation and reduce the risk of project failure.


Detail the project requirements

Clear requirements can be considered keys to the project deliverables in general and the project’s success in particular. The more specific requirements, the easier it will be for developers to plan and implement the project. Requirements are various but mainly divided into functional requirements, non-functional requirements, and external interface requirements.  Each type of requirement needs to be specified differently:

  • Functional requirements describe what the software will do and define how it will function to meet user expectations. You should also mention the acceptance criteria for these functional requirements to determine if a function is completed and performs as expected. 
  • Non-functional requirements include usability, performance, software quality, security, and so on. They can be seen as extensions that help describe how the software will perform.
  • External interface requirements are types of functional requirements. These interfaces include user, software, hardware, system, communication interfaces, etc.


CTA button SRS


Get the SRS approvals

To ensure the SRS’s accuracy and objectivity and the mutual agreements on how the software should run, the key stakeholders should be involved in approving the SRS. By doing this, you can reduce the risk of wasting time, effort, and money on future unnecessary changes.


Additional writing rules

Writing the SRS or any type of document requires you to follow some rules and recommendations. Regarding this, we recommend you to:

  • allocate enough time for the SRS outline
  • keep information precise and clear
  • avoid ambiguity
  • focus on the most difficult tasks
  • keep the document up-to-date and systematically update the changes 
  • make sure the language used in the SRS if you’re working with an outsourcing development team


Final thoughts,

The SRS is important because it gives you a source of information where you can easily manage requirements throughout the outsourcing software development process. In this article, we aim to help you get the basic ideas of the SRS’s structure, and hopefully, we did it. For best practices, you might want to explore in the next article about turning your business ideas to the SRS. Thank you for reading!



CTA Enlab Software



About the author

Nhu Nguyen

The intersection of marketing and technology has created the sweet spot to discover my Ikigai, either in my professional or personal life. Spending much of my career in tech, my passion is building elegant brands and data-driven marketing techniques tailored for the tech community.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is included in a Software Requirement Specification (SRS) Document?

A Software Requirement Specification (SRS) document includes a detailed outline of the software’s functionality and how it should meet business and user needs. Key sections are the introduction, overall description, and detailed features and requirements, encompassing project purpose, scope, user needs, assumptions, dependencies, functional and non-functional requirements, and external interface requirements.

Why is an SRS Document crucial in software development?

An SRS document is crucial as it serves as a blueprint for the entire development process, offering a clear roadmap, ensuring information transparency, and providing the necessary details to estimate project costs, timelines, and risks accurately. It lays a stable foundation for development, user acceptance testing, and future enhancements.

How to effectively outline and structure an SRS Document?

To effectively outline an SRS, start with a clear structure that includes an introduction (covering project purpose, scope, glossary, and references), an overall description (outlining user needs, assumptions, and dependencies), and a detailed section on features and requirements (detailing functional, non-functional, and external interface requirements). This ensures the document is comprehensive and accessible.

What are the best practices for detailing project requirements in an SRS?

Detailing project requirements in an SRS involves specifying functional requirements (what the software will do), non-functional requirements (how the software performs), and external interface requirements (interactions with other systems). Each requirement should be clear, precise, and accompanied by acceptance criteria to ensure it meets user expectations.

What are the key steps in obtaining approval for an SRS Document?

Obtaining approval for an SRS involves engaging key stakeholders in reviewing the document, ensuring its accuracy and objectivity, and confirming mutual agreement on the software’s functionality. This process helps mitigate the risk of future changes, saving time, effort, and resources.

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