Price: $1,999.00
Length: 3 Days
College Credits: 3
Continuing Education Credits: 18 PDH
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Specifications Writing Training Course Description

Specifications Writing Training is a practical hands-on two-day interactive program involving guidelines, roadmaps, examples, exercises, case studies, group projects and discussions.

Tonex Specifications Writing Training has been developed to transfer the skills and expertise to those involved in producing and writing technical specifications.  Developing an System Requirements Specification includes identification, organization, presentation, and modification of the requirements. Also addressed in the course are the conditions for incorporating operational concepts, design constraints, and design configuration requirements into the specification.

The term “specification” refers to a description of the characteristics of a system, System of Systems (SoS), a product, or service required or desired. Specifically, it is defined as the explicit requirements furnished with a solicitation upon which a purchase order or contract is to be based. Specifications are used as written requirements for a system, material, product, or service for a proposed project. Requirements for design, necessary drawings, codes and standards, fabrication, verification, installation, validation, operation and maintenance and system retirement are usually part of the specifications.

Writing style, grammar, simple sentence structure and correct punctuation are the cornerstone of readability and clarity of the specifications by its intended audience.

Specifications Writing Training

What to Specify?

Specifications are used as written requirements for a system, material, product, or service for a proposed project. Requirements for fabrication, erection, application, installation, finishing,  necessary drawings, codes and standards applicable to the project are usually included in the specifications.

Key Course Objectives

  • Understand what specifications are
  • Key principles and practical methods for writing specifications
  • What to write in the specifications
  • Content of the specifications
  • Specifications writing techniques
  • What writing styles to use
  • How to apply grammar, simple sentence structure, and correct punctuation

Training Method and course Materials

  • Comprehensive specifications writing guidelines and notes
  • A workbook with workshop exercises
  • Checklists, forms and charts
  • A USB drive with extensive documents and resources
  • Post access to the trainer via WebEx, phone, and emails for up to 6 months after the completion of the course

Who Should Attend

Anyone  involved in planning, writing, managing or contributing to the preparation of specifications.

Objectives

After completing this course, the student will be able to:

  • Describe the role and purpose of specifications
  • identify a framework for organizing and producing specifications
  • Describe key steps involved in creating effective specifications
  • Explain methods used in defining requirements
  • List tools and techniques for scoping and structuring specifications
  • Identify methods to write and edit specifications
  • Describe the methods to use systems requirements to prepare system specifications, drawings and master plans
  • Identify differences between functional and design specifications

Outline

Module 1) Introduction to Specification Writing

  • What are specifications?
  • Purpose of Specifications
  • Types of Specifications
  • Functional Specifications
  • Design Specifications
  • Technical Specifications
  • The Systems Development Lifecycle (SDLC)
  • Contents and layout for a specification
  • Specifications as written requirement
  • Classifying specified requirements as functional or designs
  • Functional versus design oriented specifications

Module 2) Organization of Specifications

  • Audience analysis
  • Specification language
  • Syntax
  • Styles
  • Drawings, Forms and Standards in the Specifications
  • Codes
  • Units of measurement
  • Methods of specifying
    • Descriptive
    • Performance
    • Reference Standard
    • Proprietary
    • Tools and techniques for structuring specifications

Module 3) Requirements Specification Writing

  • Requirements development
  • What are requirements?
  • Requirements analysis methodology
  • Specifications vs. requirements
  • Development of requirements
  • Stakeholders and their needs
  • Needs assessment
  • Needs that are vague
  • Types of requirements
  • The quality of requirements
  • Requirements for the system and sub-systems
  • Elicitation techniques
  • Requirements related to technical solutions
  • Requirements vs. constraints

Module 4) Management of the Requirements 

  • Techniques used to capture, and validate key requirements and constraints
  • Requirements validation and verification
  • How to examine, analyze, demonstrate or test requirements
  • Review of requirements quality
  • Scoping and defining requirements
  • Errors in the requirements and the specifications
  • Scoping techniques
  • Clarifying priorities
  • Quantifying difficult requirements

Module 5) Specifications Writing Process

  • Processes and challenges involved
  • Approval and authorization
  • Specification and the statement of work (SOWs)
  • Structuring a statement of work
  • Structuring a system requirements specification
  • Specifications and contract documents
  • Contracting requirements and agreement
  • Supplementary conditions of the contract
  • Bonds and certificate
  • Organization of specifications
  • Technical baselines

Module 6) Creating Effective Procedures for Writing and Controlling Specifications

  • Roles and responsibilities of the key players
  • Scope of the specification
  • Statement of Requirements
  • Design and performance criteria
  • Functional characteristics
  • Performance characteristics
  • Technical characteristics
  • Reporting requirements
  • Standards
  • Acceptance testing
  • Trade-ins
  • List drawings and other guidance provided
  • Details of access, ground conditions and preparation
  • How to avoid unnecessary details

Module 7) Challenges in Writing the Specifications

  • Challenges of written communication
  • Identifying and understanding the stakeholder's needs
  • Choosing and using the right words
  • How to deal with jargon and unnecessary information
  • Problem words
  • Using sentence structure and punctuation 
  • Impact of style, format and appearance
  • Ensuring a clear understanding of what is required
  • Identify the possible risks associated
  • How to write specifications

Module 8) Specifications Writing Techniques

  • Develop the objectives of specification writing
  • Data requirements in Specifications
  • Descriptive specifications
  • Performance specifications
  • Reference standard
  • Scoping and defining needs
  • Assessing the audience
  • Writing Technically
  • Methods of specifications writing development
  • A common framework for producing timely, error-free specifications

Module 9) Technical Writing Challenges

  • Specification organization
  • Writing style and considerations
  • Grammar and sentence structure
  • Formatting and punctuation
  • Design specifications and requirements
  • Specification writing process
  • Clear, easy to understand specifications
  • Selecting a method of specifying
  • Guide to writing Specifications
  • Specification language
  • Sentence structure
  • Words to avoid
  • Avoiding common causes of ambiguity
  • Being concise and ensuring clarity
  • Exercises and examples

Module 10) Wording of Specifications

  • Specification language   
  • Vague and ambiguous text
  • Concepts of clear, correct, complete, and concise specification
  • Imperative Mood
  • Streamlined Writing
  • Words to avoid
  • Writing style
  • Usage of words and phrases
  • Words and meanings
  • Forbidden words and phrases
  • Vague adjectives and adverbs
  • Words with legal meaning different from common usage unclear words
  • Subjective, or precise words
  • Correct punctuation Style
  • Words and phrases not to use
  • Specific words or phrases
  • Compound words, hyphenation and word separation
  • List and Tables
  • Wording
  • Capitalization
  • Punctuation
  • Table Layout and Notes

Module 11) Editing and Controlling the Specifications

  • Why editing is difficult
  • Developing a personal editing strategy
  • Editing tools and techniques
  • Key requirements for document issue and control
  • Managing revisions and changes
  • Neglected rules of specification writing
  • Specification clarity, accuracy, repetition, brevity and logic
  • Readability
  • Good grammar, simple sentence structure

Module 12) Additional Drafting Conventions

  • Shortened forms
  • Abbreviations
  • Acronyms
  • Symbols
  • Style for measurements
  • Measurements symbols
  • Mathematical and other signs and symbols
  • Ranges
  • Numerical information

In Class Activity

Teams will study a simple specification for feedback and discussion

Workshops will focus on Specification Writing Best Practices including:

  • Planning: know your audience
  • Clarity: avoid Jargon and define the unfamiliar
  • Brevity: use words efficiently, less is more, most important first, remove redundancy
  • Simplicity: use details wisely
  • Word Choice: needless complexity and ambiguity
  • Active Voice: strong verbs and natural sound
  • Committing to Writing as a Process

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