This International Standard gives guidelines for the documentation of information systems (ISs) and is intended for use in that area.
This International Standard is applicable to the software of IS. However, some aspects of hardware, e.g. configuration of the system, are included.
This International Standard is not intended to be a guide to the way documents are organized or structured. Instead, it provides a checklist for two parties to use in agreeing on document content.
The guidelines given in this International Standard have been developed with the objectives of:
- obtaining the necessary commitment of the parties involved with the life cycle of the IS to participate in the development process;
- contributing to the production of well-planned, standardized software system documents;
- enabling the production of software system documents in parallel with the software life cycle.
Well-defined rules for documents during the software life cycle facilitates:
- the provision of relevant information;
- the preparation of the documentation itself;
- estimation of the time and resources required for the achievement of a project;
- exchange of information between parties concerned, resulting in:
- selection of attainable objectives for a system;
- a more complete and well-considered functional design;
- fewer misunderstandings and mistakes;
- making decisions and briefing of personnel during the software life cycle.
This International Standard is designed to be applicable to the whole range of ISs and recognizes the software component of a system may vary from a minor part to a major complex component. This International Standard applies to documents in any natural language or representation and is independent of the medium used for its implementation, i.e., the principles are generally applicable, but in some cases there may be differences in structure and format.
Although this International Standard is intended mainly for use in the software engineering (SE) area, there will be other groups involved less directly with SE including those involved in SE strategy, people with SE requirements, SE customers and SE users.
This International Standard is relevant to those groups. The groups will produce some of the documents (e.g., strategy, customer requirements and user documents).
Associated with SE activities are methods, techniques and tools. Many of these products have their own documentation facilities. Software engineers may use documents of this type, but should ensure the principles and practices given in this International Standard are observed.