How to prepare an IT project specification
When starting cooperation with a software house on the development of a digital product, the client should present their requirements to the contractor. The project technical specification serves this purpose. How to prepare it so that it contains the most important information?
Describe your company
The contractor should be aware of your business context. Write what the company does and what products it offers. Important information is the sales model and who your clients are. Also describe with whom you compete in the market.
For a software house, it will be valuable to know whether your company has already created any apps or other digital products. Sometimes it will be necessary to ensure that they correspond, for example, in terms of technology. It is also a good idea to describe your team e.g. are there IT specialists who can work with the software house and to what extent.
Indicate your needs
Describe what the product should be in general and why there is a need to create it. It may be, for example, a desire to expand online sales using a mobile app. You want to introduce it because your competitors have mobile apps or you want to take advantage of the widespread use of smartphones to buy online.
Define the target user
The main question is who the product is intended for. We have already mentioned the specificity of the clients. It's time to precisely describe the target user of the new software.
For this purpose, it is best to rely on your own market research in which the designed user characters are defined, i.e. personas. Each of them is defined by such features as : demographic data, interests, aspirations, needs or, for example, the way of using technology.
Calculate functionalities and submit the project
At this stage of creating a project description, focus on specific functions that are to appear in the product. Here the most important aspect will not be your invention, but the needs of the future users. They should be the center of attention. Also refer to the apps of your competitors, which can serve as a model for you or bring up ideas for functionalities that will allow you to be better.
The best way to present a future product is to draw its design. For this purpose, software can be used to create mockups that will help you visualize the idea in a simple way (these are, for example, Figma or Balsamiq).
All screens, e.g. of an app, should appear on the project. On each of them, next to specific elements, e.g. buttons, you can put a description of their purpose. It is also worth describing the screens on the basis of the user's cognitive journey.
Under each of them, put a text containing information about what activities at a given stage would be performed by the user. For example, "The user moves the product carousels and clicks on the selected product. Then he adds it to the clipboard or cart".
Include the technical specification
WIn case you have specific requirements regarding the technical aspects of the app, list them. This will be the case, for example, if your team is trained in the use of a specific CMS or e-commerce system, we know what platform we want to use or the type of specific technologies.
Of course, you do not have to do this if you do not have specific requirements in this regard. Then it is enough to rely on professional software house consultation which will offer you optimal technology.
Specify the budget and schedule
The contractor should know what funds are available for the project. Estimate the amount in which you can ‘fit in’, because then the software house will be able to propose specific products. It will also determine whether your budget is appropriate for the implementation of the idea, or whether it should be modified (idea or budget). Also inform the software house when you would like the product to be finished.
It must be added that the precise definition of the budget and schedule is possible in the case of a Fixed Price settlement, i.e. with a fixed price. When the time spent on building a product is billed (the Time & Material model), these factors are approximate, because the process is dynamic, based on iterations.
The more precise, the better it is
When presenting your vision to the contractor, it is good to be as precise as possible. The better and more detailed you describe the project, the easier the cooperation will be. It should also be remembered that when expecting the software house to present an accurate valuation and schedule of the project (i.e. in the Fixed Price model), the contractor should have maximum knowledge about your requirements.
Of course, you don't have to be specialists in creating a digital product to outsource it. The software house is an expert here and with their help you can refine your vision and develop it with their suggestions.
The best solution will be to conduct design conduct, during which all the issues needed to start working on the product are discussed. Thanks to the workshops, cooperation with the software house will run much more efficiently, without misunderstandings and doubts. The risk that the product does not meet your expectations will also be reduced, as they will be very precisely defined.