Preparing Great Requirements Specifications

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

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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 may be credited toward the maintenance of the INCOSE Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP) certification for 8 Professional Development Units and PDUs may be claimed for PMI’s family of certifications, including PMP
  • This course qualifies for Engineers Australia and Engineering New Zealand (IPENZ) CPD purposes (8 hours)
  • This course may qualify for CPD, CLP and similar purposes with other organizations (8 instructor hours)
  • This course may be credited toward the maintenance of the Project Management Institute (PMI) certifications. Suggested PMI Talent Triangle® PDU allocation:
    • Ways of Working – 8


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Key Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, participants 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.

Participants 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.

Participants 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

Do you Offer Tailoring of this Course?

Yes. All courses are tailored informally verbally in delivery by selecting, where possible, examples matched to the domains of interest to the class. We can also work with you to design a formally customized curriculum for the development of your people. We have done so for many client companies, and we would love to work with you to this end. We always suggest that a client takes the corresponding standard course prior to any customization. For systems engineering, this is because systems engineering is the problem-independent and solution technology-independent principles and supporting methods for the engineering of systems, based on systems thinking. So the objectives of customization need to be very clear and focused on adding further value. In practice, customization, if performed, usually becomes the replacement of examples and possibly the main workshop system with domain-specific equivalents. Substitution of the workshop system usually involves substantial redevelopment of courseware. Out of necessity, formal tailoring of courseware is performed on a fee basis.

1. Requirements Specifications

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

2. Requirements Specification Types

  • the ten types of requirements specification
  • Requirements Specification Standards

3. Requirements Writing

  • requirement writing template
  • workshop – writing requirements using the parsing template
  • requirements specification terminology
  • terms to use with care
  • requirements constructs: shall, should, will and may
  • syntax in general – the helpful, the problematic, work-arounds
  • linking
  • cross-referencing
  • reference to applicable documents
  • using success criteria to express otherwise vague requirements
  • workshop – a requirement specification in a sentence

4. Structuring Your Requirements Specification

  • structuring a system requirements specification
  • dealing with variants
  • workshop – writing a scope section to deal with variants 
  • dealing with states and modes
  • functional versus design-oriented specifications
  • workshop – classifying specified 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

5. In Closing

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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