Value Behind Creating Functional Specifications

DJ Bragg  

December 26, 2007

Related Topics

Creating a website without a concise plan is a regular, costly mistake.

There have been countless projects that have failed due to poor planning. The sites were either never completed, not completed as envisioned, or over budget/deadline. The largest majority of project failures are a direct result of miscommunication between site developers, client  and project management.

The functional spec is a continuation of the functional brief and describes, in non-technical terms, the actions (functionalities) of the site but not how those actions are to be accomplished. Spec’s outline what the site does for its visitors for the length of the websites operation. The value of the creation of Functional Specifications is that there are a number of ways to ensure that the content is functional  and meets the client’s expectations.

Spec’s allow for the testing team to perform the quality analysis required to deliver a flawless product/application within the strictest time frame. This is achieved by:

  • Enumerating the specifications that will be utilize for the life of the project.
  • Developing rapid software prototyping capabilities that make it faster to develop and communicate user interface designs to everybody.
  • Clarifying all requirements.

Specs greatly improve communication with web development teams, eliminate time wasted as a result of false assumptions, put the control in the hands of the client, and are often used in presentations. Ultimately, specs save time and money, while improving the quality of the final website.