I am working in small IT industry and we are trying to implement processes and SDLC into our organization, since we are in initial phase I have few concerns and so want some consultant from experts here:

  • Currently we create 1 major SDLC documents: SRS.

  • SRS is initially created by our business development executives who are the first POC with client whenever any requirement comes in. They create a rough SRS document with all the requirements from client.

  • Once the requirements are freezed, SRS is passed on to the Project Manager who then furnishes the document as per the requirements specified by business development executives.

My concerns:

  • Is this the correct way we are following, if not please suggest the correct way.

  • Should SRS be prepared only after requirements are freezed ?

  • If yes then which document should be prepared by business development executives which they are still gathering requirement from clients.

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  • I assume SRS is software requirements specification? What is FD? Functional Description? I'm not sure that there is a "correct" way. The answer depends on the methodology employed by your company and on the results that emerge from your practices. Does the current practice cause problems? What is the real, practical problem? – Mark C. Wallace Nov 19 '15 at 12:23
  • What type of software development life cycle are you trying to implement? It sounds like a sequential / waterfall model, but I'd like this to be made more explicit. What is an "FD" and what kind of information does it contain? Is the document the only place where requirements are captured or do you use a requirements management tool? – Thomas Owens Nov 19 '15 at 12:39
  • FD means "Functional Document", actually I have edited my question since there was no concern regarding FD here. My main concern is regarding SRS only. – pratik Nov 19 '15 at 13:04
  • What type of SDLC are you implementing? Is it supposed to be a sequential / waterfall approach or are you hoping to implement some kind of iterative approach? – Thomas Owens Nov 19 '15 at 13:12
  • Yes @Thomas you are correct. – pratik Nov 19 '15 at 13:13

I don't like that your requirements appear to live in a Software Requirements Specification document instead of a requirements management tool. A document-based approach makes it more difficult to capture traceability between requirements and to reuse requirements across projects or products in a software product line. These may not necessarily be concerns for you right now, but it would be easier to start with a requirements management tool than try to manage documents and then import several documents into a tool and remove duplication and manage traceability after the fact.

Perhaps it's implied, but the process that you describe doesn't have any kind of iteration on the requirements. When the initial customer requirements come in from the business development executives, they probably won't be suitable for performing design, implementation, and test activities. At least some of the requirements will need to be clarified and rewritten. In addition, there will likely be other requirements that come from other sources - your test team may introduce testability requirements that you need to implement, there may be business or regulatory requirements that impact your product. These will also need to be captured in the SRS and reviewed with the customer to ensure they understand and can live with those requirements.

The concept of freezing an SRS is a little strange to me. Even in a sequential process, the client may want to change the requirements. There is a cost and schedule impact associated with a requirements change (especially late in a sequential process), but the process for receiving a change request, evaluating the request, and determining a response and disposition should probably be something that you want to define.

If you would like further guidance on working with software requirements and developing an approach, I would highly recommend getting a copy of Software Requirements (3rd Edition) by Karl Wiegers and Joy Beatty. A copy of IEEE Standard 29148-2011 may also be useful.

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