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Specifications development

The technical specifications, in our opinion, is the basis of any project. In order to confirm this and draw the necessary conclusions, I would like to tell you how we do it and what results it helps to achieve in our work.

So, the contract is signed, the time of the first meeting has come, and the work on the project officially begins.

First of all, we need to find out the list of requirements for the project, and it is not always easy if you do not use the right methodologies.

I strongly recommend that all marketers and business owners read the wonderful book by Alexander Ostervalder and Yves Pinen - “Building Business Models”.

Stage one. Lean Canvas. Your involvement is 70%

For the primary briefing, we use a specially designed service - Lean Canvas. We are filling out the main business characteristics of the project in the via telephone or Skype call. You can see the work of the service here.

Stage two. Requirements aggregation. Your involvement is 50%

To further deepen into business issues, we use the requirements aggregation template. The template is a diagram of relationships, which we fill in according to a prearranged plan. It includes:

  1. Vision of the project
    1. Product
    2. Stakeholders
    3. Goals
    4. Tasks
  2. Portrait of users (data from the Yandex.Metrica or Google.Analytics)
    1. Demographic parameters
    2. Interests
    3. Devices
  3. Target persona. If you are a marketer, you probably heard about the “Person Method” - this is it.
    1. Determination the website functionality necessary for user needs
  4. Competitive analysis
    1. List of real competitors
      1. What do you like on the website
      2. What do you not like on the website
    2. Foreign sites analysis
      1. What do you like on the website
      2. What do you not like on the website
  5. Site structure
    1. Creo
    2. Site header
    3. Footer
    4. Sections

You can see an example of requirements aggregation for one of our projects here.

Stage three. Page prototyping. Your involvement is 20%

At this stage, we prototyping project pages in Axure RP. Our designers bring together the skeleton of the future website, taking into account the requirements formed at the previous stage. A working with you project manager establishes control points, and if something uncounted is found, we can quickly make edits. You can see a prototype example here.

Stage four. Writing technical specifications. Your involvement is 10%

One will need a special skill to write technical literature and one of our team members has it in him. His name is Alexander Oshchepkov - our analyst-planner.

Another book that will be useful to our partners is the “Development of Software Requirements” by Karl Wigers.

Here you can read about technical specifications structure.

Reading the resulting document is quite difficult. First, it is large in volume, and secondly, there are too many technical terms. So our project managers will highlight the most important points and will conduct a detailed defence of the technical specifications.

Stage five. Estimate. Your involvement is 5%

Finally, we have reached the most interesting stage - now we will find out how much the project will cost. We can entrust such work only to the most experienced specialist - Nikolay Litvyak, technical director of our company and at the same time leading back-end developer. He reads out the technical building in detail after all its adjustments and makes back log of modules, stages and functions of the project. Then each stage is evaluated using the Planning Pocket technique, you can read more about it by clicking on the name.

The result of the work is the description of the required number of hours for the development of project modules. Then we multiply this number by the cost per hour of specialist work.

Thus, the development of technical specifications is finished. The result will allow us to:

  • Speak the same language
  • Determine what we want to get from the project and collaboration
  • To polish the project in its early stages, where making changes is not as difficult and painful as at the later ones
  • Determine the exact cost and real terms of project development
  • Create a great project that will actually be useful to your business, and not just for show

I hope I was able to demonstrate the importance and necessity of this stage.

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