Microsoft Partner

Specification Writing

Translating your needs into a comprehensive system Blueprint

When we build software, we leave nothing to chance.  We don't assume.  We ask, understand and articulate into an exact plan.  No mistakes. No compromise.


Specification writing

When we speak with our customers about our process, we use the phrase 'the Devil's in the detail' because it's the best way to explain the importance of accurate and exhaustive planning.  Without it, you run the risk of delays, errors and costs.  The creation of comprehensive specifications for software is vital in achieving success.

Why is planning so important?

The reason most software development projects fail is due to poor planning.  For developers, the excitement comes from getting stuck into writing code and seeing a project taking shape.  As a result, meticulous planning is often overlooked with developers cutting corners and making assumptions. 

Equally, customers want their software up and running as soon as possible, so often focus on the core functions rather than considering rare scenarios.  It's not until the software begins to be used that these scenarios manifest themselves and the gaps revealed.  The cost of retrospectively fixing these gaps in terms of system stability, cost and time can be severe.

Planning is crucial because it removes 'chance' from the equation and results in a more rounded end product.  An articulate and concise specification acts as a blueprint for your application so you can see precisely what you will be using once the development is complete.

What is a specification?

You wouldn't expect a building to be constructed without accurate plans, detailing every material, measurement and position.  The same is true with the software we develop, and we take it very seriously.

A functional specification acts like a blueprint for your application.  It identifies each area of your application and explains what it will contain and how each aspect will work.  It includes diagrams to better explain functions, processes and workflows, as well as graphical designs of the user interface.

It is our responsibility to extract all the necessary information we need from you to avoid gaps in functionality.  We also contribute with our own thoughts and concepts based on experience to maximise your return on investment. 

Once written, it is vital that you understand the specification, so you can confirm your agreement with the plan.  We appreciate that our customers are not always technical, so we prepare our specifications using 'English' rather than technical jargon so our customers can relate to what we're planning.

We also know that a picture paints a thousand words.  So instead of simply writing reams and reams of text that is difficult to digest, we create a working prototype that you can see and use.  We build this prototype with you when we meet, so you can see it taking shape in front of your eyes.  This collaborating approach helps you visualise the end product rather than simply imagining what it will look like; something we find very popular with our clients.

The prototype and functional specification document work together to describe the end product in fine detail.  They improve our Quality Assurance process, enabling us to use this high level of detail to ensure everything works as it should.  They also provide a valuable content bed for user guides.

This is the quality you will come to expect from DCSL Software.  We take control and we get it right first time.

How do I get started?

Call us today to discuss how we can help you in more detail on 01252 235422.  Alternatively, email us at contact@dcslsoftware.com or fill in the Contact Us form on this page.