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How To Write a Technical Specs Doc

That is your “find out how to” information for writing a technical specification doc. The doc is meant to assist engineers, undertaking leads, and technical gurus.

With technical specs (tech spec), you map out technical necessities for a undertaking, product, or system, and the associated objectives. The tip purpose is to keep away from main mishaps or pricey errors in the course of the precise implementation section. Observe the steps beneath and use templates to create a significant doc. 

Trace: Adhere to a confirmed six-step writing course of (i.e., analyze your target market, generate your content material, and many others.) earlier than ever writing your precise draft. Take a look at this text to start out off sturdy. 

What’s a technical specification doc?

Specs paperwork are complete paperwork that ought to comprise all the mandatory info to allow builders, designers, and different stakeholders to finish a undertaking efficiently. The doc ought to embody detailed directions on find out how to construct the services or products, in addition to any steerage wanted for a profitable launch. This might embody a value evaluation, a listing of necessities, technical specs or technical requirements, software program necessities, inner requirements, and extra.

Relying on the undertaking you’re making a technical specification for, there could also be particular laws or necessities you will need to adhere to. Ensure that you become familiar with these earlier than starting work in your specs doc.

Steps to writing a technical specs doc

1. Create your title and Desk of Contents

Right here’s the guidelines for creating an ordinary technical specs title web page and desk of contents:

  • Title of the doc
  • Creator or teams of authors
  • Stakeholders
  • Desk of contents
  • Creation date and subsequent updates

For this final merchandise, it is not uncommon to incorporate a proper naming conference to indicate the variations. For instance, v3_08152022.


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2. Set the stage

Earlier than diving deep into the technical specs of the undertaking, product, or system (e.g., software program improvement undertaking), it’s good to set the stage. After your title web page and ToC, tackle the issue you are fixing, key phrases, and background.

Observe with the objectives, scope, and assumptions.

  • Abstract/Drawback: Summarize the issue that must be solved. Clarify the context. Introduce the one resolution that has been determined upon and the stakeholders. You don’t must get right down to the nitty-gritty simply but. This part is a high-level overview. 
  • Key phrases: Outline the phrases and technical ideas that will likely be addressed within the doc. You wish to clarify entrance and heart acronyms, lingo, tech phrases, and inner system names. It is a glossary that’s established to start with so your reader can simply navigate complicated technical specs (particularly if they’re new to the ideas).
  • Background: Give a short historical past of the problem. Present a abstract of any analysis performed. Share the rationale for scripting this doc within the first place.
  • Aim/Goal: Begin to paint an image of the place you purpose to land on this situation. Embody technical and product necessities together with real-life use circumstances.
  • Scope: It’s simply as essential to determine what’s “in scope” versus out of scope on your technical necessities.
  • Assumptions: That is the place you identify assumptions together with caveats. Put forth the primary steps to take versus the longer term ones.

Associated: The right way to Change into a Technical Author: A Newbie’s Information

2. Deep-dive into the answer

You are now able to get into the technical elements of the answer and its design. Break it down into easy-to-follow piece elements as follows:

  1. Description of the atmosphere
    1. Clarification of the present resolution
    2. Abstract of its professionals and cons
  2. Description of the proposed resolution
    1. Clarification of the impression
    2. Abstract of its professionals and cons
    3. Define of dependencies
  3. Present information mannequin
    1. Checks for information validation
    2. Structured framework (schema)
    3. Present new or modified information fashions
  4. Enterprise guidelines and workflows
    1. Entry
    2. Stability
    3. Restrictions
  5. Affect on the top person
    1. Description of UI/UX
    2. Dealing with of errors or outages
    3. Data switch
    4. Mobility

Associated: What Laptop Science Groups Ought to Know About Technical Writing

3. Add illustrations or visuals

Even when speaking with friends, technical ideas might get misplaced in translation. These are some efficient visible methods to current the complexities which will come up inside your technical specs doc:

  • Wireframe: It is a blueprint. It helps to indicate the construction of your resolution. Figma is a free instrument to information the constructing of a wireframe.
  • Flowchart: A visible in graphic kind. It supplies your viewers with a visible level of reference. Get some assist with Lucidchart.
  • Information mannequin: This depicts a company’s 1) information parts and a couple of) connections between these. Right here, workforce members can work collectively to resolve how information ought to be saved, communicated, and modified. A knowledge mannequin aids within the alignment of technical and enterprise sources. This piece highlights the most recent and best instruments to construct a knowledge mannequin.

Associated: The right way to Current Graphics and Information in Technical Writing

4. Embody further concerns 

Ensure that to sync the next in your technical specs:

  • Accessibility options
  • Limits of the answer
  • Scalability of the answer within the quick and long run
  • Proof of idea
  • ROI
  • Assess in-house v 3rd Social gathering resolution
  • Affect on different departments
  • Any authorized notes
  • Evaluation of prices and advantages
  • QA
  • Potential future points with safety
  • Information privateness
  • Efficiency metrics
  • Restoration plan or mitigation plans
  • “Subsequent steps” for modifications sooner or later

You’ll be able to embody these anyplace within the doc that is sensible as you compile it.

5. Embody a timeline and milestones to launch

Give a timeline with dates and milestones to share when key accomplishments are anticipated to be hit. Embody sources wanted to finish the work. 

Here is an abbreviated instance of what milestones may appear to be: 

  • API integration full: March fifteenth
  • QA full: March thirtieth

Replace your timeline and milestones if they alter.



Technical specs examples

Listed below are three examples of technical specs to encourage you as you create your personal:

1. Apple iPhone 14 

technical specs document example 1

2. Wingtra Drone 
technical specs document example 2


3. Vernon CMS
technical specs document example 3



Associated: 10 Varieties of Technical Writing

Remaining phrases on well-written technical specs

I like to recommend that you just select a technical specification template. Observe the steps above and use templates to create a significant completed product and clear technical necessities.

Have a look at examples as effectively. Be sure you use a collaborative paperwork editor. This ensures that the grasp doc stays in a central location. The benefit is that it’s accessible to all stakeholders. Create a well-written technical specs doc for a profitable undertaking, service, or function. 


Get teacher suggestions in your precise technical writing

Our on-line self-paced course will educate you find out how to write any technical doc effectively.

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