Checklist (Part 2): Requirements Specification Statement

Clients often shy away from writing a requirements specification statement, either because they perceive it as too much effort, or because they don’t know what it should entail. You can help clients by supplying them with a questionnaire which they should answer as honestly as possible. This will help both sides to establish a shared understanding and prevent miscommunication.

This is how a requirements specification statement questionnaire could look like:

Reason for Project

  • What was the reason for the project initiation?
  • Was there a specific issue that triggered it?
  • If the answer to the last question is yes, how did you deal with a similar issue in the past?


  • Please define the project objectives. When would you consider the project a success?
  • Please define the must criteria, the should criteria and the could criteria that the solution has to meet.
  • Who are the important contact persons on the client’s end? Who are the decision-makers?

Product/Service use

  • In what context will you utilize the product? (number of users, target audience, physical environment, service life)
  • Which frameworks have to be considered? (specific organizational standards and methods, interfaces, time scale)
  • Please differentiate the product from existing systems – what should the product not entail?
  • Functional requirements
  • Which functionalities does the project need to have at the end of the project?
  • How should the product behave in case of malfunction?

Further Requirements

  • Should the product be extendable?
  • How should the maintenance for the product look like?

Scope of Delivery

  • Besides the client, are there other subcontractors or project partners?
  • If so, what will they deliver?
  • What should not be delivered?

Project Plan and Milestones

  • Which deadlines and milestones have to be met?
  • Are there logical dependencies to other products or projects?

Open Questions

  • How can the requirements specifications statement be edited (see change request)?
  • Which decision-making authorities are there?
  • Which issues still couldn’t be clarified and why?
  • What can be done to resolve this?

Approval and Quality Requirements

  • What are the strived for quality criteria?
  • Which criteria have to be fulfilled before the project can be completed successfully?


(Text by Sabine Pfleger, translated by Linh Tran)