It’s near impossible to jump right into building a product based only on the ideas you’ve created in your head. Products specifications act as the outline and structure that your team will use as their roadmap to bring your ideas to life. Not only does creating the products specifications ease your development process, but it ensures that your team stays on track with the goal for the product.
In this post, we’ll help you prepare the perfect products specifications when outsourcing software development.
What Are Products Specifications?
Products specifications are blueprints that describe exactly what the product will be, what it should look like, and what function it will perform. Additionally, these guidelines might include information about the target audience that will help product management teams optimize the product’s features. The purpose of products specifications is to outline all the information about the product so that any member of the product development team will know exactly what to create.
What to Include in Products Specifications?
1. Product Summary
First, begin with a description of the product idea. This section should briefly introduce the product’s concept to the reader as well as why you’re creating this product. Summarize what the final product should look like, what features it will include, and the expected time it will take to develop it.
Every industry has its own language. Whenever you use any industry-specific concepts and terms, include them at the beginning of your brief. There are also some terms whose meaning can vary depending on the context—it’s important to clear those up.
This way you’ll avoid additional questions, speeding up the whole process.
3. Purpose of The Document
Explain your expectations and what you want to achieve by reaching out to this software company. It will help the team put the emphasis on those parts and aspects of the product that you care the most.
Your process will be more efficient if you state the deadline within which you want to make a decision on a vendor (or, effectively, when you want to start a project). Not only will it help you get the feedback on time, but you will also be able to see your potential partner’s approach to deadlines, a feature that will be very important in the future cooperation.
Just make sure to leave around a week for processing to make sure you get a quality analysis on products specifications , not a rushed response.
5. Business Case
Next, on products specifications, you should include the business case for developing the product. This is a written document which outlines the benefit or advantage that the product will provide for the company. Additionally, the business case should also highlight the budget and resources that will be needed to complete the project.
6. User Stories
User stories are brief messages that are told from the perspective of the product’s users. They describe the features that users want to see included in the new product.
7. Functional Products Specifications
Who will be the actors in your system? The most common ones are:
Visitor — a person who is not logged in to the application
User — a person who is logged into the application and is essentially the end user of the service
Admin — a back office employee who facilitates application processes and moderates users activity (think of user management, adding new categories, publishing content, etc.)
Try to state all possible roles that you plan to have in your system and describe them in a general way, e.g. what is the main goal of having such a role in the app? Who will be behind those roles (e.g. are they specialists in their field or do they need a more friendly design to be onboarded?). How often will they be using the application? What is the most common operation they will be performing?
It’s most important to make sure your development team understands the goals you need to achieve so that they can propose the best solution for you.
If you go into too much detail, such as data structure for example, without explaining the underlying business needs, a good team will try to reverse engineer the original business goals and ask a lot of questions.
It’s not necessarily bad, but if you are short on time, I’d suggest presenting features like this: think of what should the app have to achieve the main goal you stated in the beginning given the limitations.
8. Non-Functional Requirements of Products Specifications
State any specifics if you’d like them to be taken into account: what devices should the app be available on? What languages should be available? Are there any legal limitations developers should be aware of? Should any part of the app be available without an Internet connection? (especially important for the mobile apps)
Are you also looking for a partner to help you design your new app? Do you already have any drafts/ideas or maybe designs are in progress? Have any guidelines it has to comply with? Do you need branding?
9. Additional Materials
Add everything that doesn’t exactly answer any of the questions above, but is still relevant to the product you are building: marketing presentations, user feedback reports, future ideas, illustrations and even relevant news.
If you include all the elements I’ve mentioned above in your products specifications, you can be sure you’ll receive your product estimation faster and with greater details.
Want to work with web and mobile app development company?
A web and mobile development company is the best option if you’re planning a mid-sized or large project but don’t have your own team. To clarify, the biggest advantage of a software development company is that they can take ownership of the whole project.
If you’re considering web development services, you can explore more about us – ArrowHiTech. Above all, we are proud to be one of the most well-established outsourcing companies all around the world. In addition, with over 14 years of experience, we can provide the excellent IT outsourcing and software development service.