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MSSL Minimal Software Engineering Process

This document outlines a minimal process to follow when developing software at MSSL. It should be followed if no other, higher standards are applicable.

Requirements are essential to defining the scope of a job.

  • to clarify understanding between the initiator and the programmer
  • clarify and agree how much effort and elapsed time are needed for the job (c.f. project schedule)
  • what items are to be delivered (what are the outputs)

      The minimum requirements documentation is a numbered list.

Design must be written down before coding starts.

  • demonstrates the understanding of the requirements by the programmer
  • should include a picture showing how the s/w will work.
    • this does not need to be formal, rather the requirement is clarity for the initiator's understanding. More important to show the logic of the s/w than the physical implementation.
  • this forces the initiator to think about the completeness of what they have asked for. Hence will expose gaps in thinking.
  • identify required inputs or starting conditions
  • allows a break-down of the job into sub-tasks which presents a way of monitoring progress
  • the physical design of code in diagram and words will support operations and maintenance of the code.
  • The Design document must be read and agreed by initiator.

Build Code

  • consistent with documented design
  • stick to the scope of requirements but try to be flexible to ease future modifications.
  • plenty of comments to aid maintenance! (but also this is part of detailed design)


  • numerical accuracy
  • robustness of code (stress tests)
  • functionality
  • against Requirements to demonstrate completeness

      Test plan + results required as hard-copy
      Completeness should be agreed by initiator

User guide / OM guide (if required)

  • Can re-use parts of design doc to explain functionality and support maintenance
  • Can re-use test material as a tutorial

For all external deliveries we need a :-
Documentation and s/w release process: must be approved by project manager
PA Process: Minimum standards must be maintained even by project manager
      If early drafts are to be released this must be made very clear - and agreed by (TBD depending on the project)

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