Functional specification. Who are the risks of the project?

Any more or less non-standard project, as well as projects involving a large amount of work must begin with the preparation of a document describing all the required characteristics (functionality).

What tasks are solved by a ready and fully compiled functional specification for the project?

  • It allows you to check the current status of the project and its individual tasks at different stages of development for compliance with the initial requirements.
  • The opportunity at the initial stage to eliminate the duplication of functionality mismatch, as well as completeness is by means of ON the solved one or the other achieve the business task.
  • Understanding what should come out at the end, as well as the relationship between the key functional elements of the software product make it possible to effectively use modern software development methodologies.
  • Allows you to control the process of changes and additions to the originally defined functionality of the project.
  • Allows you to accurately assess the amount of work, time and ultimately the required amount of investment in the development of the project, to make a plan of action.
  • To come to a common understanding of how the final system developed by the software product should work and interact.

It is rare to find in the modern world anything successfully made/built by a large team of professionals and without a common plan, understanding of the end result. When this happens, it's called - “accidentally happened”, just luck.

There are not many reasons why certain companies refuse or even skip the stage of preparation of such documentation:

  • due to the rush, lack of sufficient time for a managed software development process. In this case, both parties are likely to take a conscious risk;
  • due to the inability to transfer ideas into a written form, to draw up requirements and make quite specific decisions regarding the required functionality of the product;
  • in the hope of freely and with impunity to change the original agreement in the development process, or upon its completion at no additional cost (fraud);
  • short-sightedness in the issue of support and systematic improvement of the product after its release;
  • due to misconceptions or ignorance of the impact on the software development process;
  • in order to save, reduce or generally lack sufficient budget for product development.

The decision on the development or absence of a functional specification is made by the party that bears the main risks in terms of timing, compliance and, of course, financial. In a world where consultants are called upon to help their clients avoid mistakes, the recommendation to make a technical specification, as well as to tell about its objective impact on the end result is a duty, not a fashion statement for professionalism.