Have you ever called upon an IT agency for the realization of a specific project or simply to ask for an estimate, advice?
In this case, you have probably been asked to provide a specification. But what is it? And above all, why can’t you do without it when you want to implement your project?
A specification is a document to be respected during a project. The specifications are contractual, i.e. they must be stipulated in a contract.
This contract will bind 2 participants:
- The project owner: Person or company for whom the project is carried out
- The project manager: Person or company who carries out the project.
The objective of a specification is to allow the project manager to understand the needs and expectations of the project owner. Therefore, in case of non-compliance, penalties may be applied.
There are 3 parts to drafting these contracts:
- The first is the context. It is important to specify the reasons for its realization without forgetting to mention for whom the project is intended, the partners involved as well as the target of the project.
- The second is the functional part. Its purpose is to determine the scope of the project by summarizing the functionalities that the project must meet. These functional needs will then be transcribed into technical specifications.
- Lastly comes the technical part. Its purpose is to highlight the technicalities. It will emphasize the requirements and constraints related to the development of the project. For example, the software(s), the programming language(s) used, etc.
- It is also necessary to specify the total budget, the deadlines, and the delivery date to avoid any surprises later on.
- Lastly, it is possible, by means of an amendment, to modify the specifications during the course of the project. This modification must be requested by the client and this request must be approved by the project manager.
With the description and composition of the specifications defined, let us now focus on the reasons why it is essential to draw up these contracts in advance, before the meeting with the development agency.
Understand and adapt quickly to your needs
The specifications must contain your needs in detail. This will allow development agencies to understand and tell you directly whether or not they are able to meet your needs.
If it is the case, the agency will be able to propose to you its solutions/alternatives adapted to your requirements.
Even if the writing of a complete specification is sometimes tedious, it allows the development company to have the essential information to carry out the project. If the specifications are written in advance, it will allow the development agency to determine if this information is feasible or not. For example the deadline.
A powerful communication tool
Having a set of specifications allows you to communicate with all of the project’s stakeholders. Its universality for all actors allows everyone to intervene in case of non-understanding of one or several elements mentioned.
The specifications frame the development company
It will serve as a guideline throughout the realization of the project. This allows the development team to organize itself for efficient production.
As you can see, the writing of this document is essential if you want to use a development company for the realization of any project. In addition to helping the service provider understand your request in order to adapt its offer, the process of writing the specifications will also allow you to become aware of your own needs and have clear ideas about the project.
If you have a project in mind and don’t know how to go about writing a specification, at Innovative Solutions, we are ready to assist you in its realization in order to offer you a fully customized quote.