Getting all associated parties on the same page is essential for a product’s future success. Ensuring team members know how the users and product should interact, as well as what features are needed to achieve that interaction, streamlines the development process by eliminating unnecessary spending on nonessential product features. This is why functional specifications are necessary when designing a product, as they provide the aforementioned information. When drafted by a trained technical writer, functional specifications can facilitate efficiency in product development.
What are Functional Specifications?
Functional specifications are documents that describe how end users will interact with different components of a product. They can be thought of as the written form of product blueprints, a step-by-step guide showing how users will interact with the product in different situations and what those interactions will look like. Functional specifications also allow stakeholders to see the type of product they are getting.
Types of Functional Specifications
Business Requirements Document
A Business Requirements Document is the blueprint that a company uses to define the goals and objectives they are setting out to achieve through developing their product.
System Requirements Specification
A System Requirements Specification is the complete detailed description of the functional and non-functional requirements for a product, such as user interactions or how a product should look aesthetically.
Functional Requirements Documents
Functional Requirements Documents lay out how the product will perform to meet the requirements of both the business requirements documents and system requirements documents. Combining these into Functional Requirements Documents allows for a full 360-degree look at the product development process.
Components of Functional Specifications
Some items that are often included in Functional Specifications are:
Project Scope – the goals, costs, timelines and resources required for the product’s development
Risks and Assumptions – any issues or possible problems with the design of the product
Product Overview – how the product will function to solve the problem that the product is addressing
User Cases – a first-person view of users’ experience with the product
Requirements – the key features of the product that are needed for the product to operate
Configuration – the steps required to configure the product, such as user account setup
Non-Functional Requirements – features of the product that are not required for the main operation of the product
Benefits of Functional Specifications
- Give a detailed description of the product’s user interface, giving engineers clarity and direction
- Give the timeline and associated costs of product development, allowing for greater transparency for all stakeholders
- Provide stakeholders and engineers with a written plan of product development, facilitating communication and expediting the process of addressing any issues
- Create a blueprint for development so all members working on the product start on the same page, decreasing the chance of errors and streamlining the process
- Clarity in product function and development helps eliminate miscommunication, cutting unnecessary costs and resource waste
- Greater transparency of product development leads to greater business transparency, building employee trust and creating customer loyalty
How EDC can Help
Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. At Essential Data Corporation, the quality of our work is guaranteed. Contact us today to get started at (800) 221-0093 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Gwen Nicastro