Building a Specifications Document – Part 2

Building a Specifications Document

In our previous blog, we discussed some of the first essential elements to include in a specifications document, and why it is important. (If you missed it, you can catch-up here).

Today, we are continuing this theme with more sections to keep in mind when developing a successful specifications document.

Building a Specifications Document

Competitor Analysis

Businesses do not operate in a vacuum, and most are aware of who their competitors are and what they are doing. This is just as important for a digital platform as a website, and you can only be competitive if you know what they are doing.

Making a matrix of your closest competitors and those you want to be like is an excellent way of demonstrating your position and how you want to differentiate yourself.

Another method is to collect example websites of competitors or those in the industry which contain an element of their design which you like. This allows for better communication between you and the developers, particularly when it concerns some industry specific elements.

Involve all the relevant stakeholders

One of the main problems that prevent a website development project from running smoothly is that not all interested parties are involved from the start. For bigger businesses whose departments are almost mini-businesses themselves, this can prevent the right information flowing and causing massive delays. So before your project begins, consider what people will need to be informed at each step. This can include:

  • Marketing departments
  • Supply chain staff
  • Admin staff
  • Customer Service/Sales team
  • Management and higher-up staff

5) Your Budget

Be realistic with your budget and keep in mind that the size of your budget will constrain your project as the amount of work directly increases the price.

In our experience with web development for Melbourne businesses, it is best to be honest and upfront about your budget as soon as possible. They can help you understand which areas can be reduced without affecting the overall project and suggest cheaper technologies. One way we are able to reduce the immediate cost for our clients is to suggest a phased approach, where the functionality is rolled out in stages. This can help smaller businesses, who need to wait until a certain date to replenish their budget and bigger businesses who often request initial results before signing off a large sum.

Another method we suggest is to use a template site, as an alternative to a custom build from scratch. We discuss the different benefits to each system in a previous blog, see here.

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