Technical Requirements (With Definitions and Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 2, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Technical requirements usually involve issues with software or system development that professionals need to consider when implementing solutions to resolve problems. Specifications to consider may include the reliability, availability, and performance of software programs. Understanding how to set these requirements is an essential step in the software and development process and it can provide you with the knowledge of how they operate in the software development industry. In this article, we define technical requirements, discuss why they're important, and list examples of software and system development.

What are technical requirements?

Technical requirements are the specifications that professionals consider when creating software or completing software development projects. This is a term that's commonly used in project management and software development positions. The specifications function as solutions to technical issues. These technical aspects can refer to factors such as performance-related concerns, the reliability of the software, and how readily accessible it is. Typically, professionals list the requirements on a document, known as a product requirement document, which can define the features and purpose of the software in the development and planning stages.

For example, after creating and developing an online word processing software, it typically only works for a specific web browser because of an important integration system that allows the software to function properly on that web browser. In this case, using the software in a specific browser is the spec. It can be beneficial to understand the steps involved in the software creation and development process to properly establish these requirements.

Related: What Does the IT Department Do Within a Modern Organization?

Why is it important to have technical requirements?

It's important to have requirements because, with the advancements in technology and the availability of software, planning reliable devices come first. These requirements describe how software can function and its required behaviour. Carefully prepared requirements can ensure that the final product is valuable. This helps developers and users understand the best way to use the software. Try to clearly define the specifications to help create projects or software applications that are ready for implementation. Developers and other technicians sometimes refer to this as the technical requirement documentation.

Requirement documents can vary based on the project, but their usual goal is to ensure the owners of the software and its developers understand the details of the project. It's also important to include the project's estimations. Project estimations refer to the cost estimates, the resource allocations, and the duration of development. Try to understand the software's necessary requirements to help determine these factors more precisely.

Related: A Guide to Different Requirements Documentation (With Types)

Examples of technical requirements

Requirements can vary depending on the product or industry. Based on the type of project, team members may work on different parts of the development process. For larger scope projects, the design and development teams may include a technical artist or game designer to plan the more complex virtual reality project components. Project timelines can vary based on the scope of the project, so try to consider any deadlines. The initial planning document can help plan information, such as the budget and schedule. After creating the initial requirement document plan, the project can begin.

Effective requirements documentation focuses on the results of the software. Engineers, artists, designers, project managers, developers, and IT professionals can use these documents as a guideline for the development and creation process. It's also important to understand priorities when creating a requirements document. Here's a list of requirement examples:

Accessibility

Accessibility refers to a requirement that seeks to make a service, software, or technology accessible to all users and parties. For example, the developers and software engineers may add closed captions to tutorial videos. This is for users who are hard of hearing and acts as a form of an accessibility requirement.

Authentication and authorization

Authentication refers to confirming one's own identity, and authorization refers to accessing an entire system. This requirement is about verifying the authentication and authorization policies. It states that a system abides by certain policies to provide clearance for users to access it.

Related: Understanding The 10 Engineer Levels of Software Engineering

Availability

This type of requirement functions similarly to a metric. It can track the time as a percentage. It can also verify how long a software or resource is available for users to operate.

Data quality

Data quality is a requirement that refers to how well suited the data and information is and if it's serving its intended process to users. It may be ideal to have high-quality data to use for operational and decision-making processes. Measuring data quality can include factors such as a software's accuracy and consistency.

Human error

Human error refers to a mistake that wasn't intended by the individual. This requirement can detect when individuals may input inaccurate information. If the software detects this error, it may immediately notify the user to advise them to fix the discrepancy.

Information security

This requirement refers to the encryption and security of user credentials and personal private information within an online storage base or transit system. This level of security also involves a requirement for encrypting highly classified information. Similarly to user privacy, it can be beneficial for users to feel comfortable with the software and place trust in the product.

Internal controls

The internal controls requirement means that only certain users can access the decryption keys for encrypted user and highly classified data. These individuals are also commonly known as data stewards. They can only access the data when a higher official allows access to it.

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Interoperability

The interoperability requirement states that software offers comprehensive compatibility. This means that the software works on all the major operating systems, web browsers, and technical devices. These requirements may function based on the preferences and needs of the technology users.

Maintainability

Maintainability simply means that software maintains its integrity. An effective system is commonly supposed to identify and resolve technical problems within a given timeframe. It's beneficial for most repairs to be able to resolve within an hour.

Performance

The performance requirement determines average wait times. It also determines how long it takes for software or a page to load. For instance, it may be beneficial to set a requirement for load times to exceed only two seconds.

Privacy

Privacy refers to protecting a customer's sensitive data from internal data professionals and employees. For example, a privacy requirement may not allow employees to view a customer's social security number stored within a customer database. It's important to be able to ensure users that they have adequate privacy.

Productivity

The productivity requirement consists of processes that allow users to be more productive. For example, businesses may create a system that auto-generates data. This may allow users to skip inputting data multiple times.

Reliability

Reliability refers to the average time that a system or software operates between downtimes or failures. This is a metric that averages the time for applications and services. It's a critical aspect of operations.

Serviceability

Serviceability is an important technical requirement for users. Most software and systems undergo regular updates or modifications. This requirement states that systems completely shut down when software upgrades or changes.

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Standards

The standards requirement states that a system or software follows and complies with the security and architectural requirements. This refers to the design and structure of a system. It ensures its flexibility, reusability, and feasibility.

System errors

When a system has an error, this requirement causes an error code to communicate the discrepancy with the user. It's important to be able to document this error code within a database set to help users service the incident themselves. Users can come to a resolution without requiring further maintenance.

Vendor lock-in

Vendor lock-in is a requirement that means software or system is open-sourced. Open-sourced software means that it's not owned by a proprietary or private company. It's still available to be manipulated with a custom code by any user.

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