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Introduction to Functional Specification Document

It's no secret that you need to have clearly defined processes with frequent checkpoints and checklists for a project to succeed. But what does this process look like in practice? What work needs to be done, and how can we effectively measure our success? The answer is: with a functional specification document. This document is one of the most important documents in any project or software development process (agile or waterfall). It's a document describing what the end-users want the system to do and not how it works. The functional specification document includes input, output, control logic, storage, data handling, and security requirements.

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What is a Functional Specification Document?

functional-specification-document-sample

A functional specification document is a document that describes what the end-users want the system to do and not how the system works. It includes input, output, control logic, storage, data handling, and security requirements. A functional specification document is a document that specifies the functionality of a software system. It typically includes the specifications for all or most of the following:

  • User interface design and navigation
  • Data input and output formats
  • File formats, data types, and constraints
  • Database design, data access methods, and constraints
  • Programmatic interfaces for accessing external systems
  • Error handling procedures - Communication protocols for interfacing with external systems
  • Security requirements

Functional specifications can be created using a variety of techniques. These techniques can include:

  • Specifying how data is stored and processed by the computer system
  • Using a data model
  • Providing data representation
  • Designing the logical data structure that represents the data
  • Implementing an error recovery procedure
  • Working with XML
  • Adding business logic to a functional specifications document
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Why does your project need a Functional Specification Document?

A functional specification document is the best way for stakeholders to understand the end product without knowing how it will work. A functional specification document is a set of instructions that explains how a system should be used and what it should do. It is usually written by the person who designs the system.

The functional specification document is essential because it helps ensure that a system can be used in the way initially intended. It also helps ensure that the system will work with other programs and systems that may not have been considered during design.

Functional specifications may be used to: A functional specification document is typically written by a user, commonly the system's designer. It includes system goals and purpose, expected use cases, requirements for data input and output files, any external devices that need to be hooked up with the computer(s), and how much computing power is needed for calculations.

Who creates the Functional Specification Document?

The person who creates the functional specification document varies depending on the company's needs. The technical writer or product manager might work with developers to create a specification for a new program or features for an existing one.

In some cases, there are two people involved in creating this document, the product owner and the developer. The product owner is responsible for ensuring that the functional specifications make sense and that they meet user needs. The developer is responsible for defining a detailed description of how the system will be built with a complete analysis of all requirements.

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What's included in a Functional Specification Document?

A functional specification document is a technical document that describes what the end-users want the system to do and not how the system works. It's a document that includes information about the input, output, control logic, storage, data handling, and security requirements. It should contain:

  • Input Information: This could be the number of fields on an interface or the type of data collected.
  • Information about the output: The functional specification should state what kind of data is required and how it will be presented to the user. 
  • Information about control logic: How does this process flow? What are the next steps after this step? Is there an error or exception handling process?
  • Storage Information: What happens to any data collected once entered into the system? Who has access to this information? Is it stored in a database or on paper? Where do you store it?
  • Data Handling: This can include if you need to log errors, process time stamping, or handle missing values.
  • Security Requirements: It's essential to mention anything that needs special precautions like passwords or encryption keys.
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How to create a Functional Specification Document?

A functional specification document describes what the end-users want the system to do and not how the system works. For example, you might create a specification for an app that helps people find public toilets in a city. A functional specification document would include information about the input (such as GPS location) and output (public toilet location). Functional specs are often used in agile or waterfall development processes. To create a functional specification document, there are a few steps you need to take:

  • Define your requirements for the project
  • Identify functionality required by the project
  • Design how this functionality will work
  • Describe your requirements and design in an understandable format
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Summary

A functional specification document is a document that describes what the end-users want the system to do and not how the system works. It includes input, output, control logic, storage, data handling, and security requirements. It typically includes the specifications for all or most of the following. A functional specification document is a technical document that describes what the end-users want the system to do. It's a document that includes information about the input, output, control logic, storage, data handling, and security requirements. The developer is responsible for defining a detailed description of how the system will be built.

A functional specification document describes what the end-users want the system to do and not how the system works. A functional specification document would include information about the input (such as GPS location) and output (public toilet location). Functional specs are often used in agile or waterfall development processes.

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