The project specification is a document where all needed information related to a certain project is gathered. Shortly speaking, it includes the most important information about the functional and technical aspects, determines the direction of the project, its outline, scope, main goals, deadlines, lists, and description of main functionalities. How significant is a well-prepared project specification and how does it influence further development of the project and your digital product’s success?
A well-done project specification = benefits for both sides
Preparing the project spec is the first and one of the most important steps in the process of digital product development and cooperation with your IT business partner. It’s immensely helpful in the assessment of the scope of work needed to complete the project, which in turn allows for the preparation of appropriate price estimation.
This phase enables the creation of an effective software project, thanks to a deep understanding of your business needs, goals, and problems.
On the other hand, writing such a document is also a good practice for you because gathering all the needed information in one place allows you to see your product from a broader perspective and identify missing elements or inconsistencies.
Why is it important for your digital product’s success?
Clarification of your goals
Writing down all the details of your concept, product requirements, and expectations allows your partner a better understanding of what you want to achieve with your product or project, why, and how. The better understanding of both business and functional context, the more efficient your further cooperation will be – and hence, better results and product success.
Realistic assessment of resources needed
On the basis of an extensive functional and technical specification, it’s able to realistically estimate the number of resources needed to develop the whole project, including people involved, time span, and budget. It’s helpful not only for the software development provider but also for you as a client because you know from the beginning what you can expect later on. Otherwise, there may occur the necessity of implementing some unexpected changes or additional features that you haven’t predicted at the very beginning.
Checking the compatibility between you and your software provider
Sometimes, at the preparation stage, it turns out that your technology partner won’t be able to fulfill your vision of your future digital product exactly as you wish to. Such a specification allows you to check your compatibility and the feasibility of further cooperation. Your IT partner will be able then to analyze whether their current experience and specialization are in line with the project requirements. If not, all is not lost. Having written down the requirements and desired functionalities, you can look further, having more details in your hand. It’s always better to break apart at this early stage than to go down a dead end together, wasting a lot of time, work and money.
Reliable price estimation of your project
By knowing exactly the system and the requirements, the project team is able to understand the needs and pre-evaluate the costs. The more detailed the document is, the better. It’s also important to write it in such a clear way that it doesn’t leave the team any gaps for their own interpretations – usually giving a little background and business context is also super helpful. A concept that may seem obvious in your head can be interpreted in many ways and thus cause a lot of confusion in the end. In order to provide a deeper understanding of the vision of your project or product, try to describe everything as precisely as possible and make sure that the team understands it the same way you do. On that basis, your software provider will be able to deliver you a reliable price estimation.
Assurance of stability
The great advantage of having all functional and technical requirements written down from the beginning is the source of stability. Even if there are any changes introduced into the project over time or new people are getting involved, the document provides a sort of base of knowledge and needed information about the project. Since each stakeholder and team member has access to the document, the course of the project is smoother. It can be very helpful, especially if the predicted development time is estimated for a very long period.
The whole process of product development is much more smooth and easy if each member involved in the project is on the same page. Also when it comes to planning bigger projects, scalability is a kind of built-in requirement, therefore the infrastructure is shaped in such a way that it would be simple to scale.
Writing a project specification document always produces favorable results, and often speeds up the next steps. We don’t waste valuable time on specifying important issues in the process because everything is set out in detail from the beginning, on paper. IT projects are usually complex, that’s why managing them without having such a document could be difficult. The spec makes it much easier to control the situation. By setting the limits of the scope and functionalities in a spec, we can be sure that they won’t be exceeded. It’s also important to prioritize because then we’re certain that the most important and critical parts of the project will be completed as soon as possible.
A project specification is a helpful tool not only before the project starts but also after the implementation. It’s very significant to identify problems and obstacles that have occurred during the development. It also facilitates the resolution of them, provides meaningful insights, and helps to draw proper conclusions leading to the introduction of changes and modifications. You can treat it as a support for the further improvement and measurement of your digital product’s success.
What are the consequences of not preparing a project specification?
OK, there are a lot of advantages of preparing a consistent specification but what happens if you decide not to create one?
- It hinders the project management since Project Managers have to spend a lot of time discussing and clarifying confusing aspects with you during the project,
- Unclear requirements lead to misunderstandings about the functioning of the features and developers may implement them on the basis of their own assumptions,
- It’s difficult to measure if the project has actually been delivered because there’s no document that the results can be referred to,
- Many bugs come up due to lacking requirements or confusion about how features should run,
- Developers constantly engage project managers’ time to discuss significant, unspecified details,
- The whole process takes much more time, and effort, and therefore – the budget,
- You aren’t able to accurately identify and measure the problems and mistakes after the implementation if you don’t confront them with your initial assumptions.
Do you want to find out more about writing a project specification?
It’s better to be safe than sorry
Preparing a good project specification is not an easy task and takes a lot of time and effort but in the end – it’s worth it! This step brings plenty of advantages both for the client and the software development team, assures deeper understanding, strengthens engagement, and vastly increases the chances for the product’s success.