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The similarity in terminology is confusing. And people use the terms not
only interchangeably, but to mean the reverse of what other people mean by
the same terms. (Whew!)
In my book, a doc specification describes a single document. Kelly Parr has
given a good synopsis of the contents of a doc spec.
A doc PLAN, OTOH, is an overview-level specification for an entire doc set.
It does not go into the detail for each document. Rather, it lists all the
doc deliverables and includes a blurb about each. Typically, a project
leader would do the doc plan before the individual writers did the doc
If you're interested, I have a little writeup that I give out to my students
about the differences. And do keep in mind that what I call a doc plan
others call a doc spec.