Product Specification: Why Is It So Important?

Avoid any possible hardships by preparing an accurate product documentation
Fri Oct 06 2017

When clients come to us, one of the first questions that we ask them is if they have the Product Documentation. Product Documentation - is the document that describes the main functionality of the product and outlines the order of the tasks for the project.

Why is it necessary? The answer is simple: a detailed documentation will allow you to agree on every development step beforehand, eliminate the possible future problems and will ensure you that you and your dev team will be on the same wavelength.

The product documentation should be written by the client himself. But, as long as, in the most cases, the client doesn’t have the necessary knowledge about the development process, it’s the dev team’s responsibility to ask the client all the necessary questions that are important for the product development. Usually, the responsibility of writing the product documentation lies on the Project Manager’s shoulders. While constantly interacting with the client and the dev team, the project manager finds out everything he needs to know about the project’s peculiarities.

So, what are the requirements to the Product Documentation?

  • Be as precise as possible. It shouldn’t contain any obscure words or words that have a double meaning. On the contrary, the language is there should be a basic business one. Moreover, detailed doesn’t necessarily mean long. Think about the person who will read your documentation, respect their time and effort and don’t make them read 100 pages of your thought with little sense in them.

  • Use screenshots. A picture speaks better than thousands of words. If you’re describing some complex task that needs a lot of specifications, the best variant will be to put a screenshot from the prototype. (Yes, even if you’ve written a very detailed documentation, you’ll still need to make a prototype).

  • Divide the scope of the work into several milestones. It’s necessary that you point what scope of work will be done during each milestone and how much time you expect it will take.

And once again, why is Documentation so necessary?

  • Clear requirements. Even if you don’t meet with your team members every day, you can write all your requirements, comments and expectation in the documentation. The more detailed the documentation is, the fewer problems you’ll have in the future.

  • Get an accurate pricing. When you tell in a couple of sentences about your idea and ask the developers how much will it cost, what do you expect to hear? Even if you want a simple copy of an existing service (what is not good at all), it’s impossible to give you a precise sum of money that you’ll need for the development.

  • Minimize risks. The documentation will save you from the unexpectable expanses and will allow to predict all the possible future hardships and thus avoid them in the future.

The examples of how to write a product documentation and what exactly it should contain, you’ll find in the PDF below. Download it and start preparing one on of the most important parts in your startup development. If you need any kind of help or advice with the documentation, feel free to address us. We’re always glad to help.

Download FREE PDF

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