How to Build Specification Requirements – activecollab module

How many times you faced a problem with initial communication between customer and developer!? Customer doesn’t know how to provide requirements to developer and developer lacks information about project requirements.

This post will give you step-by-step instructions how to manage process from initial inquiry to building specs for detailed price and time estimation based on building activecollab modules. Specification Requirements  inside!

We’ve built 14 public modules, and more than 30 custom, 12 of them could be found in our activecollab modules bundleToDo module and Converter. So we know how to make requirements document to build module effectively with less expenses.

Any quality product should start with detailed requirements list. Any of our activeCollab Modules sold started from initial requirements and moved into production right after development is completed and modules are tested. Everything should be planned and according to the requirements listed in Specs document. We show you how we build specs, provide some examples of specs we do of small modules and how to write specs for the modules updates.

Initial Inquiury

  1. Before filling in contact form, think about general requirements of your future activecollab module, as developer won’t know your thoughts and details unless specs is prepared;
  2. Itemize the list of general requirements at one place – spend several days revising these requirements from time to time if anything comes in your mind. The main problem of most of the clients is that they can rethink or integrate extra features when activecollab module is almost built that brings more expenses in comparison to initial estimation;
  3. Customer should provide requirements in short, laconic way so there’s no hesitation about general module requirements

Result: you’ll get quick reply with rough estimation from developer with the price and deadline that will be close to real one – the one that would be provided after specification requirements document is prepared.

Discussing Requirements

  1. Customer: Provide short module description and itemize the list of main requirements for developer to understand what will that module be about and how it will work in system in general;
  2. Customer: provide only details, if they are specific only to that module or connected with other modules in system.
  3. Developer: provide list of questions required to understand what customer wants in superficial way.
  4. Developer: organize phone call or chat conference to discuss details during 5-10 minutes, only to know how much time and price it will require (price and time range);
  5. Developer: if you’ve got all short details in order to give estimation – it’s time to move to the next step (if customer is satisfied)

Building Specification Requirements

If you are a customer and want to build specification requirements document, these advises will be for you.

  1. Start your document with description of your module with 3-4 paragraphs;
  2. Strucutre the module by pages;
  3. Prototype it! Provide layouts of each page built in photoshop or using any other instrument like Axure, or any online mockup tool. I recommend using photoshop, as building activecollab module will require preferably native aC elements to be used and layout in fact will be final design for developer to implement. That will save you much time. Make layouts by taking snapshots of elements from activeCollab interface.
  4. Describe in details all the pages, elements on them, actions, messages and connections with other pages if any.
  5. Review the document with developer page by page to make sure you didn’t miss anything. If you missed any detail, developer won’t be glad to work extra 20 hours without being paid, as it wasn’t described in specs and if the price was fixed.
  6. Ask developer for the final estimation to start your first or next successful activecollab module

Examples of Specification Requirements

To understand better all the document structure you are going to provide to your future developer, you should get the idea of all mentioned above on real examples.

Below you can find 3 specs examples of our written modules. These specs were made for HR Manager module, activecollab Finder Pro and Tickets Summary Module.

Specs HR Manager

Specs – HR Manager

Specs Finder Pro

Specs – Finder Pro

Specs Tickets Summary

Specs – Tickets Summary

4 Aug 2011
Posted by in activeCollab, Project Management | Comments Off on How to Build Specification Requirements – activecollab module

Comments are closed.