Friday, February 5, 2010

SRSs are hard

Software Requirements Specification (SRS) are hard. Very hard. The hardest part is that is a lot invisible part. More invisible than programming. In programming you have the code. But In Tech Specs you only see the result of a mix of meetings, chats, brainstorming sessions, manager decisions, etc.

It's very difficult to measure how many time it will took. You have to consider first, how many times the organization has used it. If it's the first time, you'll have time to evangelize it and next make that all people involved agree. Next you have to do the analysis, you have to talk with a lot of people, mix all the viewpoints and resolve conflicts between requirements. When you have done that, you begin with the spec. You begin to write it and a lot of people have his own comments that you have to filter and select the best of it.

The next difficult step is to make people undestand that this document it's a kind of contract between user and the Software Engineer, that this document will be use to set the Gantt Chart, the WBS and so on.... The hardest part of it is to make understand the user that if he want to add a new requirement it has to be negotiated.

Many people looks specs as it has to be done, but they don't see it's usefulness. SRS help Software Engineer to know what things he has to do. And for the user, it sets a Warranty that what things will be done.

No comments: