Nov 25 2023 11:36 — 2 min read

13 Tips & Tricks to write a good RSD


RSD: Requirements Specification Document.

1. Define each requirement one by one, each requirement must be minimalist.

Do not use related words such as “and”, “or”, “also”, “similar” etc. This is especially important because the words above can cause devs and testers to misread requirements.

Complex requirements should be broken down until each requirement can be considered an independent test case.

2. Limit the use of clauses expressing exceptions

Limit the use of clauses like “except” and “but” unless absolutely necessary. People’s reading habits often miss the content behind.

3. Requirements need to be completely written

Each request must form a complete sentence with no slang or acronyms.

Each request must contain a subject (user/system) and a predicate (intended result, action, or condition).

4. Avoid describing how the system works

Only discuss what the system is supposed to do, not the system design.

Usually, when mentioning field names, programming languages, and system objects in RSD, there is a possibility that our document is off topic.

5. Avoid using ambiguous terms

Avoid ambiguity caused by the use of abbreviations such as “etc”, ”about”.

6. Avoid using terms that cannot be defined.

Such terms include: “user-friendly”, “flexible”, “fast”, “minimal impact”

These terms are often understood in terms of different directions for different people, making test-case identification difficult.

7. Avoid using unnecessarily long sentences or references to inaccessible documents.

8. Don’t guess

Avoid drawing an unfulfillable dream feature list.

Wanting a system that can handle all unforeseen errors is unrealistic thinking because no system can achieve 100% of the requirements you want.

9. Avoid repeating or writing things that contradict what has already been written.

10. Do not express suggestions or possibilities

Do not express suggestions or possibilities by avoiding words like “perhaps/could”, “should”

11. Build one source of truth

Avoid writing requirements scattered in many places, causing readers to have to cross-reference documents. This can make your RSD extremely difficult to read.

12. Do not write undefined things in the requirements.

13. Use affirmative sentences

You should use affirmative sentences such as “The system will…” instead of “The system will not…”

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