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This appendix expands on the specification outline that is included in Chapter 4, "Creating Design Specifications," and on the CD-ROM as file SPECSHEL. Here, I provide helpful details about the suggested contents of each specification topic in the outline.Different specifications will have different layouts, depending on the responsible personnel and the needs of each project.These paragraphs should note who in the company will be affected by the project and what the expected effect on their daily workflow will be.Project Scope In this topic, provide a brief description of the scope of the project, including some or all of the following points: This subsection is essentially the "sales pitch" targeted at the readers that will be involved in approving funding for the project.
The ROI usually quantifies the payback period of the project in months or the total return over the life of the project.
The first portion of the "Executive Summary" section presents an overview of the software project by summarizing the problems it addresses and the methodology that will be employed.
Identified Problems This component of the "Executive Summary" section provides a few paragraphs or bulleted list items that summarize the problems or opportunities within the company that pointed to the need for the solution described in the spec.
Within sections are subsections, and each subsection has several topics that describe individual discussion points.
An "Executive Summary" section is a common requirement for business documents.The benefit of automating a process, for example, cannot easily be measured if the process is new because no historical benchmarks exist yet.At the other end of the spectrum, the human resource overhead for a process that has existed in the workflow for a long time can be measured exactly.Later in the spec (in "Costing"), a line-item budget is provided, so this topic exists to "hit the high points" for busy managers.