The Art of Writing Specs

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You know, it’s funny, I’ve spent a lot of my time writing specifications for my clients.  I’ve gone through and defined exactly what the business wanted, and I even spiced it up with enough technical details to make it pretty easy to develop.  Well, the strange thing is that I haven’t written a spec for my own business…  ever.  Until this past week, when I finally started to get smart, and realized that while I may be a good developer, I have great vision of what I want.  So my time is better spent defining what I want as the end product, instead of figuring out which is the best BAPI or function module to add one obscure piece of data.

The realization I’ve come to is that writing the specs is forcing me to better define what I want.  In the past, as I put together my latest piece of development, I’d pretty much wing it.  I’d write down a VERY basic outline of what I wanted, and proceed to develop, then add new ideas, then have to go back and define that for stuff I already did, and so on.  While this model can work, it didn’t force me to do my homework up front.  Rather, it kinda let me off the hook and allowed me to just let the product flow.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very happy with the end result, it took me a lot longer to get there.  It’s like that old proverb, Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance…  (well, it might not be a proverb =) ).  Well, I’m finding as I go through my list and start defining all the pieces I still want to develop for my Renovation Solution, I have to thoroughly state what I want.  I can’t do the nebulous, “build configuration screen”.  I have to define how many tabs, what information, what it drives on the back end, do I use existing tables or create new ones, etc…

What I’m finding is that I’m getting back the skill I’ve ignored for a while.  I’m remembering how to define what I want, so someone else can do the work, instead of leaving everything up to me.  Like my partner keeps telling me, I’m finally starting to think like a CTO, rather than a programmer 🙂  Now, don’t get me wrong, I still plan on doing as much development as I have time for, just because I do enjoy the problem solving, but I’m starting to gain skill in the marketing area of our business, and there is a lot more money in marketing what we have than in adding a small feature to our existing offering 🙂

Anyway, thanks for reading,

As always, thanks for reading and don't forget to check out our SAP Service Management Products at my other company JaveLLin Solutions,

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