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Practical Specification Writing – Course Details

2 days

What is this course about?
The importance of high quality specifications is of paramount importance in achieving the right technical performance and value for money. This established training programme has been developed to help those involved in producing specifications to create high quality documents in an organised and effective way.

The programme emphasises the need for a clear definition of requirements combined with the ability to communicate those requirements effectively to third parties. A structured method of preparing specifications is provided, and a range of practical techniques is presented to enable delegates to put the principles into practice. The commercial and contractual role of specifications is also presented.

Key topics covered

  1. Creating effective specifications
  2. Organising the task
  3. Specifications and contracts
  4. Scoping and defining requirements
  5. Structuring the specification
  6. Writing the specification
  7. Editing, issuing and controlling the specification
  8. Specification pro-formas

Who would benefit?
Anyone involved in the specification writing process who wishes to develop practical technique to enable them to write effective specifications.

The objectives of the workshop are to:

  • Provide a clear understanding of the role and purpose of specifications
  • Present a framework for organising and producing specifications
  • Define the key steps involved in creating effective specifications
  • Demonstrate methods for assisting in defining requirements
  • Provide tools and techniques for scoping and structuring specifications
  • Show how specification >model forms= can be developed
  • Present methods to assist the writing and editing of specifications
  • Review how specifications should be issued and controlled


Key topics covered

1. Creating Effective Specifications

  • The role of specifications in communicating requirements
  • The different types and uses of specifications
  • The costs, benefits and qualities of effective specifications
  • The processes and challenges involved
  • The key stages in compiling an effective specification
  • Exercise: qualities of an effective specification

2. Organising the task

  • designing the specifications required; applying BS 7373
  • defining the purpose, readership and title of each document
  • organising the process of writing, issuing and controlling specifications
  • the roles and responsibilities of the key players

3. Specifications and Contracts

  • The contractual role of the specification
  • Integrating the technical and commercial requirements
  • Writing specifications to achieve the appropriate contract risk strategy
  • Deciding how to specify: functional vs design requirements

4. Case Study 1

  • Teams review a typical project scenario, develop a contract strategy and identify the implications for the specification

5. Scoping and Defining Requirements

  • The importance of the functional requirement/user specification
  • Deciding what issues the specification should cover
  • Scoping techniques: scope maps, check lists, structured brainstorming
  • Clarifying priorities; separating needs and desires
  • Dealing with requirements that are difficult to quantify
  • Useful techniques: cost benefit analysis, ‘QFD’, Pareto analysis

6. Case Study 2

  • Teams apply the scoping techniques to develop the outline contents for a specification
  • Feedback and discussion

7. Structuring the Specification

  • Typical contents and layout for a specification
  • The three main segments: introductory, key and supporting
  • Developing the document structure to ensure a logical layout
  • Detailed contents of each sub-section
  • Tools and techniques for structuring specifications

8. Case Study 3

  • Teams develop the detailed specification contents using a model form
  • Feedback and discussion

9. Writing the Specification – 1

  • The challenges of written communication
  • Identifying and understanding the readers needs
  • Choosing and using the right words; dealing with jargon
  • Ensuring consistency with contract terminology
  • Problem words; will, shall, must, etc; building a glossary
  • Exercises and examples

10. Writing the Specification – 2

  • Using sentence structure and punctuation to best effect
  • Understanding the impact of style, format and appearance
  • Avoiding common causes of ambiguity
  • Being concise and ensuring clarity
  • Exercises and examples

11. Editing, Issuing and Controlling the Specification

  • Why editing is difficult; developing a personal editing strategy
  • Wditing tools and techniques
  • Key requirements for document issue and control
  • Managing revisions and changes

12. Summing up and Action Planning

  • What actions should be implemented to improve specifications?

In-company training

Are you interested in running this course for your team or organisation?

This programme can be delivered on a date of your choice and at a location of your choice, in other words exactly where and when you need it!

From the outset we will provide you with expert advice and you will be assigned your own personal training adviser who will stay with you throughout the process.,Every team is different so we will provide you with a tailored training programme, designed around your team’s needs and focused on your desired outcomes.

All courses are followed up by a full training evaluation report and certificates of learning for each delegate. For groups of up to 12 delegates per course, our in-company training is a very cost-effective way to develop your people and improve team performance.

Get in touch today for a full quotation to suit your budget. To discuss your requirements in more detail with one of our friendly advisers please call on 0845 130 5714 or email one of the team at Alternatively you can complete the short contact form below.

Getting in Touch

If you would like to discuss your specification writing training requirements with someone on the phone, please call us on 0845 130 5714 and you will be put straight through to one of our friendly advisers who will be pleased to assist you further.

Alternatively if you would prefer you can email us at or fill out our simple online contact form below and one of the team will get straight back to you.

If the exact solution does not already exist in our portfolio we will design something specifically for you.