Preparing Great Requirements Specifications

Learn via this 1-day short course about conversion of individual requirements into effective requirements specifications.

(84 Reviews)

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  • Summary
  • Full Schedule
  • Course Overview
  • Course Outline

Specification writing is a science practiced by many, mastered by surprisingly few.  And yet, the payoff from achieving excellence in this area is large.

This one-day specification writing course addresses the conversion of individual requirements into effective requirements specifications.  The course builds knowledge and understanding regarding structure and language. The course is applicable to the specification of both physical items and software items, from the largest to the smallest, in both procurement and engineering scenarios. The specification of services is overviewed but not covered explicitly in great depth. However, most of the principles and techniques have direct application to the specification of services.

  • This course qualifies with Engineers Australia and IPENZ for CPD (8 hours)
  • This course may be credited toward the maintenance of the INCOSE Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP) certification for 8 Professional Development Units
  • This course may qualify for CPD, CLP and similar purposes with other organizations (8 instructor hours)
  • Some other programs may qualify for credits – please check with us if you are unsure


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Key Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, delegates are expected to:

  • have a familiarity with the principles of preparing effective requirements specifications
  • knowledge based on pitfalls and pointers.

The knowledge and understanding obtained will assist in developing skills.

Delegates are not expected to have substantial skills in requirements specification writing.

Training Method and Materials

The course is delivered using primarily presentation and focused discussion, plus workshop activities.

Delegates will be provided with:

  • a set of bound course notes covering the presentation material and workshop exercises
  • complimentary access to PPI's evolving Systems Engineering Goldmine

1. Requirements

  • the eight types of requirements and their significance to specification writing
  • differences for software and services

2. Specification Types

  • the ten types of requirements specification
  • score sheet for public domain requirements specification standards

3. Structuring Your Requirements Specification

  • structuring a system requirements specification
    • dealing with variants
    • Workshop - writing a Scope section 
    • dealing with states and modes
    • functional versus design oriented specifications
    • structuring to specify function and performance
    • Workshop - classifying requirements as functional or design
    • Workshop - writing a functionally oriented requirements specification
    • Workshop - writing a design oriented requirements specification
    • specifying other requirements types - environmental, resource, physical and other qualities
    • structuring the specification of any design direction in requirements
  • structuring an Interface Requirements Specification
  • structuring a Statement of Work

4. Requirements Specification Writing in English - Use of Language

  • requirement writing template
  • Workshop - using the parsing template
  • requirements constructs
    • cross shall, should, will, and may
    • syntax in general - the helpful, the problematic, work-arounds
    • linking
    • cross-referencing
    • defining terms
    • context dependence
    • reference to applicable documents
    • use of precedence
    • using success criteria to express otherwise vague requirements
    • Workshop - using success criteria

5. Requirements Specification Writing in Summary

Featured Course Reviews

Great material and the knowledge of the presenter. The course provided very valuable information that will be put to use immediately.


I learned a great deal about my co-workers by observing their reactions to the course material – an invaluable part of the course for me. I will also benefit from the templates and other example/reference material. Being able to use these tools or standard templates will also be highly beneficial.


Good structure in the course, supplemented by professional course material, presented by a presenter who knew what he was talking about.


Great material and the knowledge of the presenter. The course provided very valuable information that will be put to use immediately.


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