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Specification

It might sound cavalier, but after you finish a detailed specification, 95 percent of your work is through. When a client asks me whether something is possible, I always answer that if he can describe it in detail, I can program it. That’s all a specification is—a detailed description of exactly how the Flash movie is to appear and perform. A good specification can take a lot of time and work, but when it’s finished, it serves as the blueprint from which to work. It’s like creating an outline for a term paper. After you know where you’re headed, it’s just a matter of filling in the outline.

One person’s idea of the necessary level of detail might vary from another’s. The more detail, however, the better. When you invest additional work upfront, it not only saves time down the road, but it reduces the chances of rework because everyone involved presumably reads the “spec” and raises necessary objections early. Another value of a specification is that it makes estimating the total cost easier because the task is clearer.


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