Re: Writing design specs

Subject: Re: Writing design specs
From: Anthony Markatos <tonymar -at- HOTMAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 1998 12:10:15 PST

It is impossible to create good design spec "from the ground up". A
design spec specifies HOW the system will function. This is the second
thing that needs to be done. The first thing is to create good
requirement spec. A requirement spec specifies WHAT the system must do
from the end user's perspective.

I have a lot of experience in this area. If the requirement spec is
good, creating a good design spec is easy and intuitive. However,
without a good requirement spec, it is next to impossible to create a
good design spec (especially for larger systems). You can have a PHD in
systems design and you will still be ineffective.

Tony Markatos

>From techwr-l -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu Thu Feb 12 07:44:29 1998
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>Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 08:49:34 -0700
>Reply-To: kblack -at- itsnet -dot- com
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> <TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU>
>From: Kristen Black <kblack -at- ITSNET -dot- COM>
>Subject: Writing design specs
>I've been asked to document the programming process of a new piece of
>software. The only work that's been done on the project so far has been
>done by the man in charge. He's designing the interface/screens in
>they'll soon be ported to Oracle when the programmers go to work on it.
>What I need to do is document the flow and the details of the screens
>that the programmers have something to work from. I've created a flow
>chart, tables that list all the screen elements, and a simple process
>document, but what I need help with is the format of the whole
thing--as in
>information on creating design documents. I've been in on the design
>process of other products, but they were completely different (word
>processing software, graphics packages, web development software, etc.)
>other products were more modular, where this one is linear. It tracks a
>credit application through the data entry stage through several
>until a credit card is issued or denied. It's pretty complex.
>Have any of you ever written the design specs from the ground up? What
>format did you use? What was most effective? I can use what I've put
>together, but somehow I think that there might be a better way to
>it all.
>Thanks in advance for any advice you can pass on.
>Kristen Black
>Freelance Editor, Writer, and Indexer
>kblack -at- itsnet -dot- com

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