Software Specification

Software Specification

Software specification or requirement engineering involves understanding and defining what services are required from the system and identifying the constraints on the operation and development of the system.

Software specification involves four major steps

  1. Feasibility study

  2. Requirement elicitation analysis

  3. Requirement specification

  4. Requirement validation

Now let us understand each of these steps involved in software specification in every detail:-

  1. Feasibility study:- this study determines the feasibility and visibility of the proposed software project. This involves evaluating the technical, operational, economic and scheduling aspects.

    There are certain activities carried out during this feasibility study. These activities are -

    - Technical Feasibility: Assess the technological aspects of implementing the proposed system.

    - Operational Feasibility: Evaluate how well the proposed system solves the problems it is designed to address.

    - Economic Feasibility: Examine the costs and benefits of developing and implementing the system.

    - Scheduling Feasibility: Assess whether the project can be completed within a reasonable timeframe.

    Example- Consider a company aiming to develop a customer relationship management (CRM) system. The feasibility study would analyze whether the company has the technical expertise, financial resources, and time to successfully implement and maintain the CRM system.

  2. Requirement elicitation and analysis:- This is the process of deriving Software requirements through observation of existing system discussion with potential users and procedures Task allocation and so on. This may involve the development of one or more system models and prototypes These help you understand the system to be specified. Identify, gather, and analyze the requirements of the software system. This involves understanding user needs, expectations, and constraints.


    - Conduct interviews, surveys, and workshops to collect information from stakeholders.

    - Analyze gathered information to identify system requirements.

    - Prioritize and categorize requirements based on their importance and relevance.

    Example- For an e-commerce platform, requirement elicitation involves understanding user requirements such as user registration, product search, secure payment processing, and order tracking. The analysis would prioritize features critical for user satisfaction and business success.

  3. Requirement specification:- This requirement specification is the activity of translating the information gathered during requirement analysis into a document that defines a set of system requirements for the customer and end-user of the system The system requirements are more detailed descriptions of functionality to be provided. Formally document the identified and analyzed requirements in a clear and structured manner. This becomes the blueprint for the software development process.


    - Create detailed documents outlining functional and non-functional requirements.

    - Use tools like use cases, flowcharts, and data models to illustrate system behaviour.

    - Ensure that requirements are unambiguous, complete, and testable.

    Example- In the requirement specification for a content management system (CMS), details about user roles (e.g., admin, editor), content creation and editing capabilities, version control, and access permissions would be precisely documented.

  4. Requirement validation:- This requirement validation is the activity that cheques the requirement for realism. Consistency and completeness. During the process. Errors in the requirement document are inevitable discoveries. It must be modified to correct these problems.


    - Conduct reviews, inspections, and walkthroughs of the requirement documents.

    - Seek feedback from stakeholders to identify potential gaps or misunderstandings.

    - Ensure that the requirements are consistent, complete, and aligned with the project's goals.

    Example- Validation in the context of a healthcare information system would involve ensuring that the specified requirements for patient data confidentiality, access controls, and integration with existing systems align with regulatory standards and healthcare industry best practices.

Software specification lays the groundwork for successful software development. By navigating through feasibility studies, requirement elicitation and analysis, requirement specification, and requirement validation, developers can ensure that the subsequent phases of development align with the goals and user expectations. This robust foundation sets the stage for the creation of software systems that not only meet but exceed the needs of their users.