Most EdTech startups fail because they hurry at the onset of the project and don't devote enough time to getting to know their stakeholders. Today we'll explain the basics of creating a system requirements specification and share an SRS template example. You will thank us when you seek web development services provider for your project!

What is an SRS and why every EdTech startup needs it?

An SRS is a document explaining what you want your software product to be. It is a reference point for everyone involved in the project, from an app developer and a designer to a tester and a UX specialist. Creating an SRS is a critical step in software development as it saves time and money and ensures perfect understanding between you and a web development company.

An SRS is a list of conditions you want your project to meet. To write a specification, you should:

  1. Identify key requirements for the project's every major aspect and feature.
  2. Decide on measurables that will show the requirements are met.
  3. Place constraints on the development process to ensure it fits the budget, timeline, and scope.

We've already covered the critical steps to creating an SRS and included a downloadable SRS document template PDF you can use for any project. It's almost as good as a business plan template!

Today we'll focus on the specifics of an SRS for EdTech, as this market has recently exploded. Nowadays EdTech startups pop up daily and using our guide you can beat the competition and go from an idea to a money-making EdTech web-app quickly and efficiently.

How to develop an actionable SRS for an EdTech project?

The easiest and quickest way to complete this step is to use a software requirements specification template. It's a file that contains the basic structure you can alter to suit your project's specific needs.

An SRS includes three main parts: an introduction, an overall description and a set of system features and requirements. You can add an executive summary and appendices. Let's go over each of the major SRS parts one by one and point out the critical information the document should include if you want the project to succeed.

An introduction

An introduction is a short section designed to provide an overview of the document for readers. It should include the purpose and audience of the SRS, the project's scope, and business context. You can also add document conventions, like a list of abbreviations or a glossary, into this section, though they can also go in the back. A list of reference materials and documents can also be useful.

Sometimes, user characteristics are also included in the introduction. In this case, pay close attention to all stakeholders of your EdTech project. Remember to consider the characteristics of end users and decision-makers. Even if you create your own app for schoolchildren, they won't be your customers. Parents or schools will pay for the product. Teachers also can't make unilateral decisions about adopting new software; their choice will be influenced by school and district administration. Remember the complicated landscape of the EdTech market when writing an SRS introduction.

A system overview

The general description should include primary modes of operation and capabilities of the project and introduce conditions and constraints for the system's major characteristics.

This section should give the software development services provider a clear understanding of your EdTech idea. Explain which education-related problem you want to solve and how you want to go about it. Before writing this section, research the needs and troubles teachers and students face. Do not assume you know what Education specialists need just because you spent a decade in school. Interview potential users, teachers and students alike, before you waste time and money solving non-existent problems.

Once you understand your user's needs, you can outline the user classes the product will need. EdTech software often requires an extraordinary number of user classes with convoluted hierarchy, as students, teachers, parents and school administrators all require access and different privileges.

Pay close attention to detail when placing constraints on the EdTech project. They should include legal issues dealing with educational regulations of the national and regional level. You should also consider hardware constraints, as the technological gap might make your product far too advanced for classroom use, and, therefore, unwanted.

Assumptions and dependencies make up another essential part of the general system description. Include all your assumptions that might influence the project and the dependencies on external factors, like a third-party software integration or even an unstable Internet connection.

System requirements

Start this section with the business requirements for your EdTech project. Outline the target audience and the monetization possibilities you wish to implement. Then, you can move to functional requirements, detailing the features your product should have to fulfill the users' needs. For every function, describe its input and output specifics, and operations, as you see them. Each feature should come with one or several use cases for the user personas you have identified within the general system description. Include preconditions and post-conditions, scenarios and alternate scenarios to make your use cases actionable.

The full list can include system requirements on:

  • Durability and adaptability
  • Performance
  • Quality
  • Security
  • Interfaces
  • Information management
  • Policy and regulation
  • Life cycle management

Include as much detail as possible for every aspect of the SRS. The more information you provide in the document, the better the development team will understand your vision. As a result, they will implement your ideas quickly.

Complete your list of system requirements with a requirement traceability matrix (RTM). It ensures each requirement is covered by test cases before the product is ready. The RTM takes on the form of a spreadsheet with requirements identifiers and test case scenarios linked to corresponding documents. The matrix allows you to assess the requirements implementation at a glance and is easy to create, so there is no reason to omit it in your SRS.

Round up the system requirement specification with appendices, if necessary, and add a revision history table to track the changes to the SRS document.

Now you know how to create a great SRS for an EdTech project or improve the one you have already prepared. If you have finished this step of your startup journey, it's time to send your SRS to Freshcode and start the development stage. But if you have questions about an SRS, contact us, and we'll help you complete it in no time.

If you want to learn more about selecting a custom software development company for your startup, managing a project or other IT-related issues, check out the Freshcode blog and sign up for our newsletter!

Alex Slobozhan

With a keen understanding of the software development landscape, Alex implements best practices to deliver exceptional experiences for Freshcode clients.

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