Software requirements document is an important component of the software product of any professional software development company. But not all companies dedicate enough time to the development of worthwhile documentation. We often have to deal with a decent software product that has poor, unclear requirements specification.
Let’s try to piece together testing criteria that form the essence of quality documentation. I think it is fair to omit grammar aspect since it is not the only factor contributing to a successful release.
In general, the requirements documentation is to find a way out or a solution from any problem situation with the lowest knowledge of the software development principles. This principle is necessary for planning the content and structure of the specification.
The following criteria are essential for quality requirements:
Completeness and compliance. Any documentation should contain a description of the exact functionality of the application. It must include the whole application functionality not just the most significant functions.
Contents and findability. The user should navigate through a document easily and never have problems finding needed information. All file trees and bookmarks should be visible as soon as the user opens the document. Index, search and everything that helps to find a description of the problem must be present.
Good structuring. All requirements are logically organized. The text must have a clear structure – so that at any time you can recall where you stopped or understand which paragraph contains exactly the information you need.
Presence of user guides. A step-by-step description of the actions is necessary even for similar or exactly the same manipulations with the program. This can be either a direct repetition of a piece of information or a link to the existing one.
Terms and their meaning. Any documentation has a lot of terms, abbreviations, and shortenings. Each of these entities should have its own meaning and definition.
Comprehensibility. The documentation should be as clear as possible for any target audience.
If the documentation is also created for foreign users, it is necessary to involve specialists of this linguistic sector and even native speakers.
There are many more requirements for writing and testing specifications and software testing types. Today we covered the basics. But the main rule here is to put yourself in the shoes of a user who is in a certain problem situation.