In the last article, we explained what is Statement of Work. Writing a Statement of Work is an initial step of the Requirements Engineering Process in the Software development life cycle. Statement of Work is the first document that is included in the documentation package in the software development industry. While SoW is mainly for external stakeholders (product owner: the client), Technical Specification Document is for both external (product owner and investors) and internal stakeholders (project managers, engineers).
Let’s imagine all the requirements of a project have been documented and confirmed by the client and both parties are ready to move on to the design and development of the project. In such a situation SoW itself wouldn’t suffice for starting the actual development of the project because SoW clarifies the business requirements of the project. Jumping straight into coding isn’t actually a good idea if you want to launch a successful project. Before jumping into coding there is a need for Technical Specification Document.
The purpose of the TSD document
While SoW outlines how we are going to address business problems by technical features, the TSD outlines how we are going to address technical problems via design and development. By breaking down the scope into components, organizing them, and time boxing all the work that needs to be implemented during the project, stakeholders will get a better picture of the technical solution. By writing TSD you will create common and shared documentation so that you don’t have to repeatedly explain the project to teammates and stakeholders.
TSD also increases collaboration within the team because all of the team members will actively participate in the process of writing specs and the collaboration will give them a sense of ownership and increase their responsibility for the work.
Chart 1.1 explains what is used as an input to writing TSD. As stated above not only the SoW document but also regular meetings with external as well as internal stakeholders will be used as an input to writing TSD.
What will be included in Technical Specification Document?
TSD serves as a central repository for all documents and materials related to the project. Notion is a great tool to write TSD since it is a great place to collaborate with the team and it has integrations with many other PM and BA tools (Miro, Github, Slack, Google docs, Google drive and etc.), which means you can open these tools staying within the software and can have your job done just in a single place. At NovaLab Tech, we usually draw a business flow chart for the project and integrate it into Notion so that all stakeholders access it in the same place when needed.
In a nutshell, Chart 1.2 explains what can be included in the content of the TSD:
Writing TSD is an important part of the Requirements Engineering (RE) process. TSD concludes the RE phase and helps all team members smoothly move on from one phase of the project to the other. TSD requires time and collaboration but it is a great investment to make your software successful and impactful.