Being a software designer is not always good as it seems. There is something that a software designer hates and it’s none other than writing a software design document. A software design document is written before finalizing the things. It is necessary to write a software design document before jumping to the final outcome because it reduces the chances of doing mistakes.
Also, a software design document not only helps the coder but everyone on the team to understand what needs to be built and how it should be done. Mainly, software design document assists in getting the client’s needs fulfilled. No matter how, a software engineer feels while writing a software design document, he has to describe the design requirements before finalizing the software.
So if you’re someone who is new to software design documents—this article would cover and tell you how to create a software design document and why there is a need of Design document!
Before starting how to design a software design document, let’s know what is a software design document?
What is Software design document and how it can be used?
A software design document, is basically a whole blueprint for creating any software. How the final software will function and how the team will work, deadline to complete the task, is all that are outlined in the software design document.
Now the question arises, why to create a software design document? What is its use?
Constructing a software design document before coding any project that will take more than a month is necessary as it will gives you an idea how much time the project will take and how the process will go in long run. It also tells the work division among team members and need of number of team members. When you decide everything prior to final software, it saves your time and money both.
What are the benefits of Software Design Document?
1. Before coding, team and stakeholders or clients can clarify the expectations for the project by developing a software design document.
2. It can also speed up the coding process.
3. Before creating any code, you must go through the complete system architecture to construct a software design document.
4. It acts as a centralized document explaining features, dependencies, and other essential bits of information
5. Individual team member’s work to build out their respective parts of the project.
What Should Your Software Design Document Contain?
A good software design document is dynamic in nature. It is not something that can be constant for all software problems. However, there is a software design document template that you can use to ensure that you include all of the necessary details.
Here are the things that a software design document should have
Important details: some of the important details of the document must be there in the software design document like, document’s title, who all are working on it, and when it was last updated are all listed.
Overview: A clear overview of the project must be there as it gives an idea to the client whether to read the rest document or not.
Problems: Next comes the main thing, the problem for which the software design document is being written. Full description of the issues and obstacles, as well as why this project is important should be mentioned. This step is very crucial as if problem is rightly written, only then final software can become successful.
Measuring the goals: After writing the problem, it is an essential step to measure the goals and know the KPIs for achieving the desired goals.
Milestones for the project: These are small checkpoints in any project that helps in software developer to be on track and demonstrating clients how the project will proceed toward completion.
Prioritize: Breaking the project into small milestones is not enough, it is important to know which milestone must be achieved first and which one can be delayed.
Solutions: As you have prioritize the project, let’s give some remedies to client’s problem. Give all solutions to the problem described and also see how user will take up the solution.
Timeline: Mention the deadline of the project in the software design document. It is the thing that gives motivation to the team members. The time period given to any project must be well defined in the document, for both, clients and the team. From this, the client would come to know when the project will get finished and the team will get with how much speed they have to work.
How to create a software design document
While creating a software design document, few things need to take under consideration are:
1. The wordings of the software design document must be simple and clear. Keep the phrases short and include bullet points where applicable.
2. A good software design document is that which is having images, charts, flowcharts to make the design attractive and real.
3. Keep Updated your Software Design Document
If your project gets delayed due to any reason, then you must mention it in software design document. Keep your software design document updated. The need of updation comes from the fact that team members refer to the Software design document frequently as the project advances.