The Value of Project Specifications

Project Specifications and requirements gathering are the foundation upon which a project is built. They are essential, and should never be left out though they often are. In this article, I’ll explain what they are and what makes them so important.

Project Specs are documents which detail the features and functionality of a project and are signed by both parties. This ensures that both parties are aware of what needs to be done and what will be included in the finished product, and serves as a guide to measure progress.

Project Specs are used by:

  • Developers – As an outline of what they need to code
  • Designers – so they know which elements will need designing and styling
  • Testers – so they know what things should do what
  • Client – so they know what to expect in the final product.

The other and perhaps most important reason to use project specs is to avoid surprises and iron out as much detail as possible. As the famous quote goes:

“You can use an eraser on the drafting table or a sledgehammer on the construction site” – Frank Lloyd Wright

Requirements gathering also allows web designers to gain an understanding of their client’s business so they are able to offer suggestions about possible features or changes to features.

In the end, a project without a Project Spec will normally result in both sides being unhappy because of unmet expectations. It should only take an additional few hours to complete and will save countless hours in the long run.

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