First, before you ask "Why do I need a technical task for my business," you may ask "What is a technical specification for a project at all?"
Well, we've got an answer to that question. Simply put, technical specification (or documentation) is a document that every project or product manager must write before starting the actual web or mobile development. It has a set of requirements for the product in order for it to work as it was meant to be. This list of requirements has to be met before the product development is complete.
Many scenarios would need a person to develop a technical specification, and they may include when services are issued, acquiring technical products, developing a project, and much more. In short, it provides you with an opportunity to fulfill your end desires.
Notably, it is a critical stage to do before you start your development progress, especially when developing a web or mobile project. Without it, most developers cannot get a clear picture and determine the single definition of what the project they are yet to create should look like from the perspective of programming.
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The significance of writing a technical specification
In nearly 95% cases of project development stages, it is a prerequisite before one would advance to the actual assembling phase. The other 5% remaining portion refers to the integration phases with various tools, but keep in mind integration of such materials were previously covered in the TS phase. Other significant advantages include the following.
- It shortens the development and, in the long run, it makes the development cheaper. It's faster to work on the layout and as a result, time wasting is eliminated, especially during integration. Specs should never run short. Instead, they should be in excess.
- Scalability of working teams is easy since the process is already described and new developers understand the requirements without stress. The entire team can work on a large project without confusions and any problems.
- Same goes for your product scalability - the process is much easier when everyone is on the same page. Also, if you are planning a large project, scalability would be a built-in requirement for it and therefore the entire infrastructure would be created in such a way that it would scale easily.
- It offers developers with a precisely defined contingency plan, so you don’t end up with the “failing to plan is planning to fail” poster child. The chances of failure are minimized since the developer would know the requirements and therefore work within the plan.
Creating Technical Documentation: Steps and Format
While there are many approaches to writing per se, technical specification requires, well, technical writing skills and wording. It should deal with concrete terms that are unanimously understood and therefore avoid creating confusion.
Your TS document as a result should include the following:
- Table of contents: usually technical documentation is a lengthy document, therefore the table of contents helps to navigate it.
- Writing actual specifications
- Assigning titles (signature blocks for authorities)
- Definition of terms used
The steps below outline the procedure to follow and significant parts in how to write a technical specification document.
The first phase is an evaluation of whether the specification to be written will be a closed one or an open one. An open spec leaves freedom to the entire entity that establishes a product to fulfill the specification. A closed spec designates tools and other requirements as well as other performances that must be utilized in the product design to meet specification.
The second phase is to determine the requirements. Here, the developer should be able to establish if the proposed conditions are necessary to the product/project.
The writing style is critical when preparing.
- Use sentences that are short and straight to the point
- Specify what is being denoted in the content, and therefore avoid usage of words such as ‘which’ or ‘it’ to eliminate ambiguity.
- Define any jargon and relevant industry terms that are common. Definition section is essential at the start of the specification.
Creating a table of contents should form the last task. The content should be ordered in a way that the general requirements regarding the product/project are presented first, and then it is followed by specific subsections when writing a technical specification.
The part two of the process involves creating the actual specification. The use of words such as ‘shall’ stipulates those needs that must be met. Dimensions of the product/project must be considered such as weight and much more. Other factors include the environment, tolerances, details to achieve and project's expected lifespan.
Lastly, part three of the TS is the completion of the document, which involves assigning a title as well as control number having revision ability on the spec. Signature block should be included, both generating authority and authority in charge of making changes in the document. The final reading on the project should be then made and any loopholes sealed.
Writing a TS document is a crucial prerequisite to a successful project. Therefore, the outlined details must be observed such as a table of contents, the definition of terms, use of precise and straightforward language, and signature block. As mentioned above, TS offers merits such as scalability of working team, product’s scalability, shortens development time, and defines objectives in a precise manner.
In our APP Solutions team, we have Business Analysts, who can help you with creating your technical specification so that it would really be beneficial for your business and take a lot of weight off your shoulders. Contact us to discuss the details.