Project Specification

What Is Project Specification?

Project Specification is about turning visionary ideas into organized, communicable details. I work with you to understand your idea as fully possible, I suggest technical details or industry-standard concerns you may not have considered, and then turn all that into a thorough set of formal documents suitable for estimating and starting a project.

Why Have a Formal Project Specification?

Many projects begin by soliciting outside developers – like contractors, freelancers, outsourcing firms, etc – with a project idea. They look at the idea and they deliver an estimate of timeline and resources needed to complete the project. And then, if you like the estimate and engage in work, they’ll often use whatever documentation you give them as a blueprint to get started on the project. It’s what they based the estimate on after all.

So it makes sense to have as thorough a project specification as possible. Even if you’re taking a very dynamic (“agile”) approach to designing and developing your project, there’s a need for some sort of documentation to act as a starting point. The more specific and detailed this documentation, the more accuracy you can expect in the estimates and the more accountability you can expect in the work.

There’s an added value to preparing a good project specification or RFP (request for proposal), and that’s for when you want to compare estimates from multiple developers. If they’ve all worked from the same specification and the specification is sufficiently accurate, their estimates will be more comparable. If they’ve all just made some educated guesses based on a conversation or two, the estimates are likely to be for very different things! They can’t be so easily compared.

What Does A Project Specification Look Like?

It can vary. There are approaches to software projects that are very lightweight and dynamic, and focus on continuously evaluating work and making adaptations as you see things come together. There are also approaches that are very precise and predetermined. Specifications for the more agile projects tend to be more concise and suggestive, sketching out the rought shape of the project rather than going into every detail. Specifications for the latter do exactly that: laying out every detail as directly as possible so that there are minimal questions about how things should be done.

What Do Project Specifications Cost?

It depends on how complex the project is and what level of depth is required. To figure that out, I’ll ask you some questions before we start and then offer you a fixed price.


If you’re interested in preparing a thorough specification for your project, let’s chat!

You can reach me at or 626-375-7084.