Importance of Specification Documents

Too often I hear people asking "Why go to all the bother of writing up a functional specification document?" and  "Wouldn’t it be cheaper and quicker to just start development?" Well from experience a site that has clear detailed specifications with little or no ambiguous information, allows for timelines to be estimated upon with more accuracy, makes development faster and meets expectations of an end product.

Also a very important, and sometimes overlooked, purpose of a spec is for feasibility studies and marketing analysis.  It can be very costly to build a site that doesn’t actually add any value to your business, and even more costly to then turn around and change fundamental aspects of your site once it has completed development.

A great spec doesn’t allow for different interpretations of functionality, and minimises assumptions by developers/designers. Once development has commenced, changes can be exponentially time consuming and expensive to amend.

There can’t be enough said about the importance of spending the time at the early stages of a project, to safeguard your time, budget expectations and end result.