Project Design or Specifications

Do you have an idea or plan for an on-line or technology driven project but don’t know what to do next? Then you need someone with broad technology and business experience who can clearly communicate and document what you’re trying to build. Someone who understands the entrepreneurial process. You need me.

Taking an idea from a concept to something a project team can execute isn’t easy and before you can built it you need to articulate your vision in project documentation.  This is not a business plan but a technical specification, enabling you to communicate in a technical language, as opposed to language sales or marketing people will use.

I don’t have time for documentation.

But you have time to start over? Not getting what you are expecting will cost you even more time! Without a detailed specification how can you get what you need? This is the document that defines what you are going to build, how it will operate and how users (and other systems) will interact with it. It is much easier and less expensive to test your ideas at this stage than later on.

The benefits of a well-prepared project specification:

  • Both you and the proposed technical team will understand the project scope, timelines and deliverable s. You should have a shared expectation.
  • If the project is carefully specified it’s easier to get an accurate quote, because developers will know what they’re building and how.
  • Potential suppliers will know, you know what you are doing. There is less incentive (although they will try) to up sell or supply a solution that is more convenient for them rather than being suitable for your project.
  • You can shop around for providers. If you have an independently-prepared project specification, you can easily obtain quotes and compare them to each other, knowing you are comparing apples with apples.

What can you expect from me?

Well that’s partially up to you. I can work with you on a document that details your project from a top-level strategic perspective, right down to a detailed technical breakdown of functionality with indications on appropriate technologies, implementation, technology platforms, wireframes and even customer validation and development.

Common deliverable s are:

  • A Project Plan – what needs to happen and when.
  • A Strategic Objectives Document – describes what you’re trying to achieve and how you plan to achieve it.
  • A Technical Summary –  An overview from a technology-oriented perspective.  This may include technology recommendations and assessments and will be a critical component of determining the feasibility and cost of the project.
  • A usability or functional ‘Walk-Through’  – This will give valuable insight into how your product will be used.  I will work with you to determine key user groups, target markets and provide detailed break-downs on how they might interact with your system.
  • A Technical Specification – This is the document for a developer or development team. It will specify technologies to be used, techniques to be employed, error handling, data validation, database model, structure and a whole lot more. This is the like the plan for a house.
  • Wire frames –  This will enable you to visualize how the system or web application will look before spending time and money building it. It is the ‘magic’ test and if you can’t sell the idea from the wire frames what makes you think you can sell the finished product? If you can’t sell the magic then this will allow you to quickly iterate through alternatives to come up with something that works, is better, or you just might find your idea is not as hot as you thought it was. Developers usually won’t care, as long as you have money to spend they are happy to keep working so you really should do some testing first.
  • Hiring Guidelines – If you’re planning on hiring an individual or a team of developers I can help you define the roles, skills and assess the suitability of your proposed project team. Outsourcing is difficult at the best of times so don’t blindly assume someone in some far away country will be able to do implement your project.

So if you want to get your project started let me translate your awesome idea into technical specifications and project plans. It’ll make your life easier, it’ll make your future developers lives easier, and I bet I can save you time and money by getting your project to market sooner.