5 Replies - 391 Views - Last Post: 07 December 2011 - 08:11 AM

#1 SpartanGuy07  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 32
  • View blog
  • Posts: 149
  • Joined: 08-September 11

Writing Specs

Posted 02 December 2011 - 02:28 PM

I am an intern at a research company where I have been asked to write a Requirement Spec, Functionality Spec, and Design Spec for a project. I have not yet had the experience in creating these types of documents, so I was hoping someone could help to guide me in what types of things are included in each.

I am also working with another intern that disagrees with my ideas of what should go in each type. I have tried to google the differences and read to compare the three through wikipedia explanations, but to me the line seems blurry.

Clarification would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I don't know if this topic would be better placed in the software development forum, if so please feel free to move it.

This post has been edited by SpartanGuy07: 02 December 2011 - 02:30 PM


Is This A Good Question/Topic? 0
  • +

Replies To: Writing Specs

#2 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is online

  • Please show what you have already tried when asking a question.
  • member icon

Reputation: 5316
  • View blog
  • Posts: 11,361
  • Joined: 02-June 10

Re: Writing Specs

Posted 02 December 2011 - 03:58 PM

Check with the person that gave you the assignment.

There are as many different ways to define and write these as there are companies that want them.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#3 SpartanGuy07  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 32
  • View blog
  • Posts: 149
  • Joined: 08-September 11

Re: Writing Specs

Posted 05 December 2011 - 08:40 AM

That's kind of what I was thinking too. My manager said to get started and he will send a sample, but he has not sent a sample yet and it has been 3 days.

Thanks anyway.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#4 lordofduct  Icon User is online

  • I'm a cheeseburger
  • member icon


Reputation: 2506
  • View blog
  • Posts: 4,615
  • Joined: 24-September 10

Re: Writing Specs

Posted 05 December 2011 - 09:27 AM

I would just start gathering the actual data that would be going into the specs. Gather whatever data you THINK might necessarily be in it, and just catalog it (like you would for say a research paper or something). Then when you get further detail on how it aught to be organized into the spec sheets, and what specific categories of data should be included, you can go in and reduce all your already catalogued data down to what is needed... and find what holes/gaps you're missing. Then put it all together.

It's find to research more data then necessary, you just might end up cutting it out come time when your boss gives you the full details or how they want it to look. Rather do a little extra research, then sit around on your ass looking like a waste of space.

Of course, I'm taking this from the perspective of a worker, and not an intern. But internships are supposed to be experience training for work... so, same applies.

Don't kill yourself, and actually it sounds like you've been doing something already similar. And that is researching how these spec sheets are usually put together (which is what YOU aught to be getting from this internship... so good job there). Now it is time to apply that research you did, and research the product your writing the specs on, and wait for correction guidelines from the boss.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#5 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

  • Pancakes!
  • member icon


Reputation: 7294
  • View blog
  • Posts: 12,138
  • Joined: 19-March 11

Re: Writing Specs

Posted 05 December 2011 - 09:35 AM

There is no widespread agreement on what each of these documents needs to contain, or even on the need for any of these documents. This can cause you a lot of heartburn, or it can give you the freedom to do what you need. Typically, a requirements spec tells you what the the client wants the product to do, and a design spec tells you how the implementation does it, and the "functional spec" is pretty much a loose ball, but it's often where you define the function of the various controls of a GUI.

You can find templates for these documents. Review them, determine what parts suit your organization's needs, and develop a local template that works for you. Work up a proposed draft based on that template, and bring it to your boss. Be ready for him to tear it apart, that might happen. More likely, if you've done a reasonably good job, he'll just grunt and say okay, because he really doesn't care that much.

What you have to understand is that for the most part this documentation is produced for the wrong reasons. It's produced to meet institutional requirements or to satisfy upper management - it's not made to be useful. That's why, meaning no offense here, the job is given to an intern, and not to the people doing the design.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#6 SpartanGuy07  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 32
  • View blog
  • Posts: 149
  • Joined: 08-September 11

Re: Writing Specs

Posted 07 December 2011 - 08:11 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 05 December 2011 - 09:35 AM, said:

That's why, meaning no offense here, the job is given to an intern, and not to the people doing the design.


Actually I will be coding the project as well.

Quote

his can cause you a lot of heartburn


That's definitely true, especially when I was given no real guidance as to how each document should be done.

Thanks for the advice though guys.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

Page 1 of 1