{{project}} System Requirements Specification


System Purpose

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Summarize the reason(s) for the system being developed or modified.

System Scope

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Delineate the following:

  1. Identify the product(s) to be produced by name (Network Infrastructure, Host DBMS, Report Generator, HPC Server, etc.)

  2. Explain what the product(s) will, and, if necessary, will not do.

  3. Describe the application of the product being specified, including relevant benefits, objectives, and goals.


Be consistent with similar statements in higher level specifications (e.g., business requirements specification).

System Overview

System Context

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Describe at a general level the major elements of the system including user roles and how they interact. The system overview includes appropriate diagrams and narrative to provide the context of the system, defining all significant interfaces crossing the system's boundaries.

System Functions

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Provide a summary of the major use cases or functions, conditions, and constraints. For example, a specification for an accounting program may use this part to address customer account maintenance, customer statement, and invoice preparation without mentioning the vast amount of detail that each of those functions requires. Sometimes the function summary that is necessary for this part can be taken directly from the section of the higher-level specification (if one exists) that allocates particular functions to the product. Note that for the sake of clarity:

  1. The functions should be organized in a way that makes the list of functions understandable to the customer or to anyone else reading the document for the first time.

  2. Textual or graphical methods can be used to show the different functions and their relationships. Such a diagram is not intended to show a design of a product, but simply shows the logical relationships among variables.


Use Case: Submit Timesheet

Brief Description: The Employee enters hourly data for the week and submits for approval.

Initial Step-By-Step Description:

Before entering their timesheet, the employee must select the "ETS" or "ETS with Login Prompt" menu option from Nucleus and be logged into the Human Resource application.

  1. The system presents the timesheet data entry interface to the employee with any previously saved data.

  2. The employee enters charge No., TRC, and hours for each work day.

  3. The employee may click "Save for Later," exit, and return at a later time to complete timesheet OR the employee may click "Submit" to submit timesheet.

  4. Following submittal, the system verifies the information (e.g., 40 hours). If information is not correct or complete, the employee will receive a warning; otherwise, the employee will be provided a confirmation that the time sheet was submitted with date and time.

User Characteristics

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Identify each type of user/operator/maintainer of the system (by function, location, type of device), the number in each group, and the nature of their use of the system.

Assumptions and Dependencies

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List each of the factors that affect the requirements and should be taken into consideration for derivation of lower level requirements and design. These factors should include design inputs, design constraints, and installation considerations. Changes to these can affect the requirements in the specification. For example, an assumption may be that a specific operating system will be available on the hardware designated for the product. If, in fact, the operating system is not available, the specification would then have to change accordingly.


  1. ISO/IEC/IEEE 24765:2010(E). Systems and software engineering—Vocabulary. first edition, December 15 2010.[BibTeX]
  2. ASME NQA-1. ASME NQA-1-2008 with the NQA-1a-2009 addenda: Quality Assurance Requirements for Nuclear Facility Applications. first edition, August 31 2009.[BibTeX]

Definitions and Acronyms

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This section defines, or provides the definition of, all terms and acronyms required to properly understand this specification.


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Add or revise spcific defintions.

  • Baseline: A specification or product (e.g., project plan, maintenance and operations (M&O) plan, requirements, or design) that has been formally reviewed and agreed upon, that thereafter serves as the basis for use and further development, and that can be changed only by using an approved change control process (NQA-1, 2009).

  • Validation: Confirmation, through the provision of objective evidence (e.g., acceptance test), that the requirements for a specific intended use or application have been fulfilled (24765:2010(E), 2010).

  • Verification: (1) The process of: evaluating a system or component to determine whether the products of a given development phase satisfy the conditions imposed at the start of that phase. (2) Formal proof of program correctness (e.g., requirements, design, implementation reviews, system tests) (24765:2010(E), 2010).


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Define specific acronyms.

ASMEAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
DOEDepartment of Energy

System Requirements

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For software projects, the following is required:

  1. The software requirements shall include technical requirements including operating system, function, interfaces, performance, and security requirements, installation considerations, design inputs, and any design constraints.

  2. Identify applicable reference drawings, specifications, codes, standards, regulations, procedures, or instructions that establish software requirement test, inspection, and acceptance criteria.

  3. Software requirements shall be traceable throughout the life cycle.

  4. Security requirements shall be specified commensurate with the risk from unauthorized access or use.

Functional Requirements

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This section of the specification should contain all of the use cases or functional requirements to a level of detail sufficient to enable designers to design a system to satisfy those requirements, and testers to test that the system satisfies those requirements.

  1. Functional requirements must be stated in form to be:

    • correct,

    • unambiguous,

    • complete,

    • consistent,

    • verifiable, and

    • traceable.

  2. Functional requirements should be cross-referenced to earlier documents that relate (e.g., business requirements).

  3. Functional requirements should be uniquely identifiable.

  4. Careful attention should be given to organizing the requirements to maximize readability.

List each function and its defining requirements here. For each function that is defined, one or more requirements are then described that define the functionality. The requirements should be as objective and measurable as possible. Use one of the following examples as a guide for formatting the requirements.

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Usability Requirements

Define usability requirements. Usability requirements and objectives for the system or service include measurable effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction criteria in specific contexts of use. For example:

NumberRequirement Description
U1.1Users shall be able to point-and-click a date rather than typing a date into a text field or selecting month, day, and year independently.
U1.2Users shall select values from a list of valid values instead of having to type a value into a text field

Performace Requirements

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Define the critical performance conditions and their associated capabilities by including such considerations as:

  1. Dynamic actions or changes that occur (e.g., rates, velocities, movements, and noise levels).

  2. Quantitative criteria covering endurance capabilities of the equipment required to meet the user needs under stipulated environmental and other conditions, including minimum total life expectancy. Indicate required operational session duration and planned utilization rate.

  3. Performance requirements for the operational phases and modes.

  4. To assess the performance of a system, response time, workload, scalability, and platform should be addressed.

For example:

NumberRequirement Description
P1.1The timesheet application shall be capable of supporting at least 2,500 concurrent users.
P1.2Visible pages shall respond in 2 seconds or less.
P1.3Timesheet submittal shall respond in 8 seconds or less.

System Interfaces

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Specify requirements for interfaces among system elements and with external entities. Interfaces among system elements should include interfaces with the human element. Interfaces with external entities should include other systems. Define any interdependencies or constraints associated with the interfaces (e.g., communication protocols, special devices, standards, fixed formats). Each interface may represent a bidirectional flow of information.


A graphic representation of the interfaces can be used when appropriate for the sake of clarity.]

NumberRequirement Description
SI1.1The timesheet application shall interface with Asset Suite—Accounts Payable.

System Operations

Human System Integration Requirements

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Reference applicable documents and specify any special or unique requirements (e.g., constraints on allocation of functions to personnel and communications and personnel/equipment interactions). This should include accessibility requirements related to the ability of disabled individuals to access the information or service provided by the system.

Define any specific areas, stations, or equipment that would require concentrated human engineering attention due to the sensitivity of the operation or criticality of the task (i.e., those areas where the effects of human error would be particularly serious).


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Specify the quantitative maintainability requirements that apply to maintenance in the planned maintenance and support environment. Examples are as follows:

  1. Time (e.g., mean and maximum downtime, reaction time, turnaround time, mean and maximum times to repair, mean time between maintenance actions).

  2. Rate (e.g., maintenance staff hours per specific maintenance action, operational ready rate, maintenance time per operating hour, frequency of preventative maintenance).

  3. Maintenance complexity (e.g., number of people and skill levels, variety of support equipment, removing/replacing/repairing components).

  4. Maintenance action indices (e.g., maintenance costs per operating hour, staff hours per overhaul).

  5. Accessibility to components within systems and to parts within components.


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Specify the system reliability requirements in quantitative terms, including the conditions under which the reliability requirements are to be met. This may also include the reliability apportionment model to support allocation of reliability values assigned to system functions for their share in achieving desired system reliability.

System Modes and States

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If the system can exist in various modes or states define these and, as appropriate, use diagrams.


The mode of a system refers to a collection of states.

Phyisical Characteristics

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Include constraints on weight, volume and dimension. Include the construction characteristics of where the system will be installed, requirements for materials to be used in the item or service covered by this specification, and requirements covering nameplates and system markings, interchangeability of equipment, and workmanship.

Environmental Conditions

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Include environmental conditions to be encountered by the system. The following areas should be addressed: natural environment (e.g., wind, rain, temperature, flora, fauna, fungus, mold, sand, salt spray, dust, radiation, chemical, and immersion); induced environment (e.g., motion, shock, noise, electromagnetic, thermal); electromagnetic signal environment; self-induced environment (e.g., motion, shock, noise, electromagnetic, thermal); threat; and cooperative environment. Consideration should also be given to legal/regulatory, political, economic, social, and business environment.

System Security

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Define the system security requirements related to the environment that houses the system and operational security requirements of the system itself. Examples of such requirements are data privacy, user access, user privilege, export control, system configuration, event logging and communications.

Information Management

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Define the requirements for the system's management of information that it receives, generates, or exports. Examples include types and amounts of information the system is required to receive and store, any proprietary or other protections levied on the information the system deals with, and what backup and archiving requirements exist for the information.

Polices and Regulations

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Detail any relevant organizational policies that will affect the operation or performance of the system as well as any relevant external regulatory requirements, or constraints imposed by normal business practices. Examples of requirements include multilingual support, labor policies, protection of personnel information, and reports to a regulatory agency.

Specify health and safety criteria, including those basic to the design of the system, with respect to equipment characteristics, methods of operation, and environmental influences such as toxic systems and electromagnetic radiation.

System Life Cycle Sustainment

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Outline quality activities, such as review, and measurement collection and analysis, to help realize a quality system. Life cycle sustainment also includes provision of facilities needed to provide operational- and depot-level support, spares, sourcing and supply, provisioning, technical documentation and data, support-personnel training, initial cadre training, and initial contractor-logistics support.

Packaging, Handling, Shipping and Transportation

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Define requirements imposed on the system to ensure that it can be packaged, handled, shipped, and transported within its intended operational context.


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Provide the verification approaches and methods planned to qualify the system or system element. The information items for verification are recommended to be given in a parallel manner with the information items in Subsections 3.1 through 3.13.