It’s been a while since I’ve had to work with a detailed application specification, for which I am greatly thankful! Generally speaking, my “attitude” towards such specifications has not been one of grateful acceptance as I’ve seen too often how they become so rigid as to “get in the way” of being a truly useful means of communicating the “real” needs of the application to be developed.
This morning Bob Lewis of IT Catalysts once again caught my attention in his newsletter “Keep the joint Running“. I’ve often mentioned his writing in this blog, and once again I am moved to comment here. It was a simple paragraph within his writing that prompted me to immediately say “Yes!”, “Right On!”
He stated that “When developing software, or when designing business change even more, adherence to specifications isn’t the goal. It can’t be, because each set of specifications is used only once, is open to interpretation besides, and usually turns out to be the result of incomplete thinking...”. (Italics added). Bob’s statement quoted here is exactly the reason why I have such an “attitude” regarding most specifications.
My very first post in this blog “Please Hear What I ‘Really’ Need” was actually my way of stating what Bob says above. My post is very much the story of a project gone wrong with the “incomplete thinking” of which Bob mentions. Creating custom applications, specifying custom applications and designing custom applications is NO TRIVIAL TASK! Don’t try this at home!