Are you looking for functional specifications templates to download?
This article has what you need.
Getting your functional requirements spot on will help your company build excellent apps. This is why you need a great template.
Have you completed the project kick-off activities for your software development project? You are likely preparing to gather software requirements now. You need the right tools to document functional requirements, and functional specifications templates are important here.
Which template should you download? In this article, we discuss that.
The Importance of Functional Specification Templates
You need to get many things right to create a functional specification document (FSD) effectively, e.g.:
- Onboarding the right talent, e.g., a project manager, software architect, and business analyst;
- Following a robust requirements elicitation process;
- Understanding the business needs;
- Using effective tools like Microsoft Office, Microsoft Visio, etc.;
- Avoiding jargon, acronyms, etc.;
- Utilizing best practices to write functional specifications;
- Using an effective requirements management process.
In addition to the above, you need an effective functional specification template. This will help you in the following ways:
- Following a structure: A good FSD template will help you structure your functional design document well.
- Maintain high standards: Effective functional specification templates will show you the information that you must provide. This helps you to maintain high standards.
- Familiarity: Architects, developers, testers, and business analysts already know good functional specifications templates. When you use one of them, they can easily understand your FSD.
- Reducing the learning curve: Your development team might see turn-overs since some of the team members might leave. You will need replacements. A good functional specification document template can help newcomers understand the project requirements. They can become productive quicker.
How to Choose Functional Specifications Templates to Write FSD?
What should you consider before choosing a functional requirements template to write your functional specification document (FSD)? Consider the following factors:
1. The development methodology you are using
Take the example of the Agile methodology. If you are using it in your project, then documentation requirements will vary from the Waterfall methodology. Explore a functional specifications template that supports your choice of methodology.
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2. The need to include use cases in the functional specifications document
Are you undertaking a complex project? You need an FSD that adequately explains the functional specs. Look for a functional specification template that helps you to include use cases and use-case models.
A typical functional specification document tends to have plenty of text. While it helps to describe details, sometimes flowcharts are more helpful. Complex projects might involve a user interface with multiple actions and inputs. Flowcharts will help you to explain the journey of a user.
You need to create use cases in such projects. Use cases involve flowcharts of user actions, and you can explain the interface requirements better. Use-case models help you to further explain the functional requirements to users and the development team.
Look for a functional specifications template that helps you to document the business requirements clearly. Such a template should have an easy-to-navigate flow. It needs an easy-to-use structure. It should make it easier to document dependencies and constraints.
4. Project scope
What is the scope of your project? Are you developing a web app or a mobile app? Are you using an external API or creating one of your own? These and many more questions help one to explain the project scope.
In many cases, you will find a functional specifications template that matches the project scope. Use them for a better outcome.
5. Ease of use
You need a template that’s easy to use. It should have a user-friendly layout, furthermore, it needs to have all the relevant questions. Such a template should have a table of contents.
When you see the key questions, you naturally focus on providing the relevant information. This ensures that you write enough details in your FSD.
You are writing a functional requirements document to develop a customer-facing application. Customers could be external or internal, however, you need to offer a great user experience. You need to think from their perspective.
A helpful functional specifications template will channel your thinking toward your customers. It will prompt you to provide information that will help developers to add value to your software product for customers.
Example #1: A Template to Write a Functional Specification Document in an Agile Project
We now review a template to create an FSD for an Agile project. You can find this template in the Smartsheet repository of functional specifications templates. Let’s see how this FSD template meets your requirements:
A. The functional specifications template complies with the Agile methodology
In Agile projects, you need to create user stories. You need to follow the appropriate structure for this. Define the user, and explain what the user wants to do. Explain the objective that will be met by accomplishing that task.
The Smartsheet FSD template for Agile projects allows you to do this easily.
B. This FSD template accommodates use cases
In complex Agile projects, you will need to create use cases. The Smartsheet FSD template for Agile projects helps you to incorporate use cases easily.
C. The Smartsheet FSD template for Agile projects provides clarity
You can structure your FSD effectively using the Smartsheet FSD template for Agile projects. The neatly organized template helps to bring clarity to your functional spec.
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D. This functional specifications template helps to manage the project scope
The hectic pace at which a development team works in an Agile project can sometimes make scope management harder. The Smartsheet FSD template for the Agile project helps you to draw clear scope boundaries.
E. The template offers ease of use
The Smartsheet functional specifications template for the Agile project is a straightforward one. You can use it intuitively, and your business analysts won’t need a learning curve.
F. You can easily focus on your customer when using this template
This template smartly channelizes your focus toward the pain points of your customers. You will focus on the objectives of your customers, which is helpful.
Example #2: A Functional Specifications Template to Write an FSD for a Website Development Project
We now examine an FSD template that you can use in a website development project. Find the template in the Smartsheet repository of functional specifications templates. This template helps you in the following ways:
A. The FSD template supports the methodology of your choice
You will likely use the Agile methodology while developing a website. Web development projects tend to be iterative and the Agile methodology helps. Having said that, you can use the Waterfall methodology too. The Smartsheet FSD template for website development can accommodate both of these popular methodologies.
B. The template allows you to document use cases
The structure of the Smartsheet FSD template for web development offers sufficient flexibility. You can document use cases, furthermore, you can create use-case models.
C. The FSD template helps to achieve clarity
The Smartsheet FSD template for web development offers a systematic structure. You can describe the various attributes of the website in detail, e.g.:
- You can explain how the HTML pages will work.
- You can elaborate on the real-time data update mechanism.
- The template allows you to explain the various online functionalities that the website offers.
- You can explain the various pre-conditions for executing transactions.
D. This FSD template helps to clarify the project scope
The Smartsheet FSD template for web development helps you to document functional requirements. It also allows you to document what’s excluded from the requirements. You can document the boundaries of the proposed software system, which helps to prevent scope creep.
E. The Smartsheet FSD template for web development is user-friendly
A web development project needs functional requirements in great detail. The Smartsheet FSD template for web development helps you to document functional requirements in detail. That helps your development team and testers, furthermore, it helps architects to create technical solutions.
F. This template helps you to focus on business value
The neatly organized FSD template provided by Smartsheet helps you to remain focused. You can define what constitutes “value” for customers and let everything else flow from that.
Example #3: An Example of a Generic Functional Specifications Template
Let’s now review an example of a generic functional specifications template. You can download this template from the Smartsheet repository of functional specifications templates. This template helps you in the following ways:
A. The generic FSD template supports popular development methodologies
While mobile or web development projects often involve the Agile methodology, large enterprise projects can be different. Strategic enterprise projects might need an involved requirements management process. You might elicit requirements and freeze them.
Such projects might require well-defined phases and reviews, therefore, the Waterfall methodology suits better. The Smartsheet generic FSD template can support all popular development methodologies.
B. This template allows you to document use cases
The Smartsheet generic functional specifications template allows you to document use cases. You can create use-case models and include them in the functional spec.
C. A template to bring in the much-needed clarity
Large software development projects may have multiple functional and non-functional requirements (NFRs). The Smartsheet generic FSD template helps you to clearly separate them. This template has categories and labels that help you to bring in the clarity you need.
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D. This generic FSD template helps to manage the project scope
The Smartsheet generic FSD template helps you to establish clear scope boundaries. You can document the functional requirements and NFRs, furthermore, you can mention what’s excluded. The project manager in your team can easily use a change management process to prevent scope creep.
E. A functional specifications template that offers ease of use
The Smartsheet generic FSD template has an easy-to-use structure. You will find the flow intuitive, and you can easily use the appropriate sections to document the business requirements.
F. This generic functional specifications template keeps you focused on your client
The Smartsheet generic FSD template offers flexibility. You can write functional requirements with a great degree of detail. At the same time, the structure of the template keeps you focused on your end users.
Creating an Effective Functional Specifications Document
Now that you know how to find the right functional specifications template, you need to do the following to create an FSD:
- Onboard a competent project manager, architect, and a team of business analysts. Ensure that they have sufficient knowledge of software development lifecycle and methodologies.
- Elicit business requirements by meeting and interviewing end-users. As we have explained in our guide to creating MVP, prioritize features by using tools like “prioritization matrix”.
- Create a functional specification document by using the right template and tools.
- Ensure a thorough review of the FSD by experienced reviewers.
- Follow appropriate project management processes to get the functional spec signed off.
- Use change management processes to prevent scope creep.
Final Thoughts on Using Functional Specifications Templates
Eliciting business requirements and creating effective functional specification documents have plenty of importance in a software development project. Documenting functional requirements can be hard work.
Using appropriate tools and templates can help. We reviewed a few important functional specifications templates. These templates offer plenty of advantages, and you need to choose the one that suits your project.
Finally, you need the right talent and processes to create great functional specification documents.
If you need assistance in gathering software requirements, documenting them using a template, etc. DevTeam.Space can help you.
Leave your initial project requirements here and one of our account managers will get back to you to discuss further how our field-expert community of software developers and project managers can help
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Frequently Asked Questions on Functional Specifications Templates
Functional requirements are a set of needs that ultimately define how a software product will operate and ultimately what purpose it will serve.
You can find a great functional specification template in this article. Read on for more details.
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