Keep Functional Specs Current, Accurate and Complete

John Storts
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Why IT Projects Fail

Early warning signs to help you recognize and address problems before catastrophic failure occurs.

Down-level or incomplete functional specifications are the bane of anyone working on an IT project. As a technical writer working in software development, I often contended with specs that were out of touch with the reality of the application being developed. Between many occurrences of "TBD" and entire unfinished sections, I found myself either writing based on specs whose details didn't match the software iteration I tested or barking up a forest of wrong trees to capture information that simply wasn't available in the document.


Info-Tech Research Group's Functional Specifications Template is designed to capture all the major details necessary to create a reliable specifications document for an application or system. The template can be customized to reflect project and company info, and it also includes recommendations for section content based on common features found in many functional specs, such as:

  • Functional requirements
  • High-level design
  • User interface requirements
  • Screen mockups and layout


Handy descriptions accompanying each section explain the potential benefits to software developers and technical team leaders responsible for maintaining the specs.


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