Specifications : 3 steps to successful writing

Published on 07 June 2022


Writing your specifications is a step you dread ? You have trouble structuring it, you don't know how to go about it, let alone where to start ? Your project is clear in your head but it's another thing to transcribe it ! How to make a specification ? Don't panic, we have carefully prepared an efficient guide to successfully write your specifications in 3 key steps.




What are specifications ?

I'm sure you've heard about it more than once ! But a specification, what exactly is it ?

It is a document that summarizes and identifies the needs, expected benefits, orientations and objectives of the project.

It is indispensable to the conception of your project since it will serve as a guide throughout the process of creating your project whatever it is.

It allows the project to be framed, but it is also the ideal representation of the latter. Indeed, it does not take into account possible delays, misunderstandings between the two parties or other delays.

In addition, the specifications have a contractual natureThe client can clearly indicate to the project manager what he expects from him and what penalties are involved if the deadlines or results are not respected.


The functional specifications VS the technical specifications

These two types of specifications are  different but complementary.

  • The functional specifications

It describes the main lines of the project: its structure with all the specifications to which it must conform. The functional specifications identifie all general needs in as much detail as possible to make it understandable to everyone. This allows us to know what the project needs are in terms of functionality. Then functional specifications focus on how the solution will meet its needs. Constraints should also be included as well as the resources needed to complete the project.

  • Technical specifications

Here you will find guidelines and technical requirements (data model, technologies, security, standards...). Those which will allow to answer the functional needs (ergonomics, design...). For a digital project, the technical specifications facilitate the work of web developers in particular, so that they can best meet all functional needs.

The functional specifications are often the first part, followed by the technical specifications. Together, they form a single set of precise specifications that offer the maximum chance for your project to be carried out in accordance with your expectations, requirements and while respecting your deadlines.


Tip: we recommend you to work in agile method. This allows you to see the progress of the work step by step and to correct and improve what has been done in each sprint.


The 3 key steps to respect to make your specifications successful

Now that you know all about the specifications : its role, the different types that exist; it's time to talk about its structure ! The goal is to share with you the tools you need to successfully write your specifications.

To do this, I invite you to carefully read the following.

Enough talk ! You are wondering what is in a specification. It's time to let you discover the three key steps to follow in order to succeed in your specifications. Your specifications should be structured according to the plan below :

  • Context and presentation of the project

-Presentation of the company : in this first part, you must present your company, its organization, its resources as well as the context in which your need(s) was born.

-Context : you must detail the context in which your need is born, and consequently the reasons why you wish to undertake this project and the target.

-Objectives : here, you should outline the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound) objectives you wish to achieve.

-Issues : we will talk about KPIs, key success factors

  • Project needs and constraints

-Needs : each need must be explained

  • Functional need : functionalities, design, user experience, ergonomics
  • Technical need : tools and technologies to be used, selected technologies, security, hosting
  • Organizational need : the organization of the project (e.g. milestones), the actors, the availabilities

-Constraints : the organizational, financial, temporal, human and technical constraints must be identified

-Deliverables : what you expect from the final project

-Provisional schedule : with dates of deliverables and deadlines

-Budget : the provisional budgeting, the amount of possible penalties

  • Expected results

Finally, in this last part, you present the final result you expect.

The project is presented in a synthetic way. It is a summary of expectations so that they are all in one place, clearly expressed. You mention what you expect the end result to be by the due date.


Now you are ready to write your specifications perfectly ! If it seems complicated to you, you will see that once launched, you will not be stopped anymore !

Visit our Digital Factory page to learn more about our fixed price projects.

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