Specifications Jonathan Poland

A specification is a detailed description of the requirements or procedures that are necessary to implement or carry out a specific task or process. It is a document that outlines the characteristics, parameters, and other important details of a product, service, or system in a clear and concise manner.

Specifications are an essential business tool that are used to implement strategy, manage operations, and ensure that products and services meet the required standards and expectations. They are used in a variety of contexts, including product development, manufacturing, construction, and engineering, and can be used to communicate the requirements and expectations of a project to stakeholders, suppliers, and contractors.

Specifications can be written in a variety of formats and levels of detail, depending on the complexity of the product, service, or system being described. They can include technical specifications, which outline the technical characteristics and requirements of a product or system, and performance specifications, which describe the expected performance or functionality of a product or system.

In addition to being used to communicate requirements and expectations, specifications can also be used to ensure that products and services are of high quality and meet the needs of customers and stakeholders. By defining clear and specific requirements, organizations can reduce the risk of errors, defects, and other quality issues, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations. The following are common types of specification.

Requirement Specifications
Documentation of a business need. Business units may provide high level requirements such as user stories. These are refined with a process of business analysis to be detailed enough to be considered specifications. Requirement specifications provide everything required to design a product, service, tool, infrastructure component, process or procedure.

Design Specifications
Descriptions of how requirements will be realized. A design provides everything required to implement requirements.

Material Specifications
Specifications of physical, mechanical, electrical and chemical properties and tolerances. Included in the design of physical things such as products.

Standard Specifications
Descriptions of industry or internal standards.

Interface Specifications
Detailing how things will work together such as a software API for system integration.

Test Specifications
Describing how to test a product, service, process, infrastructure component, tool, machine or environment. This includes specifications for functional testing, non-functional testing, user acceptance testing and quality control.

Performance Specifications
Specifications of target operating characteristics such as the availability of a service.

Quality Specifications
Definitions of quality that are used for purposes such as design, testing and quality control. Quality can include both tangible elements such as the size of an apple and intangible elements such as its taste.

Learn More
Physical Capital Jonathan Poland

Physical Capital

Physical capital refers to the tangible assets that are used to produce goods and services. This term is commonly used…

Advanced Economy Jonathan Poland

Advanced Economy

An advanced economy is a highly developed economic system that provides a high level of economic well-being and quality of…

Delegation 101 Jonathan Poland

Delegation 101

Delegation is the act of assigning specific tasks and responsibilities to others, along with the necessary authority to complete them.…

Performance Goals Jonathan Poland

Performance Goals

Performance goals are targets or objectives that are set for an employee’s work, typically in collaboration with their manager. These…

Design Strategy Jonathan Poland

Design Strategy

A design strategy is a high-level plan that guides the overall approach to a design. It outlines the goals, principles,…

Competition Jonathan Poland


Competition is a term that refers to the act of engaging in a contest with others in order to determine…

Revenue Operations Jonathan Poland

Revenue Operations

Revenue operations, also known as RevOps, is the practice of overseeing and optimizing an organization’s core sales processes. This includes…

Post Sales Jonathan Poland

Post Sales

After a sale is made, post-sales processes kick in to fulfill the customer’s expectations and strengthen the relationship. This can…

Early Adopters Jonathan Poland

Early Adopters

Early adopters are individuals who quickly adopt an innovation. Marketing and selling innovative products can be challenging as it may…

Content Database

Storytelling Jonathan Poland


Storytelling is the act of using narrative to communicate information in an engaging and memorable way. Businesses can use storytelling…

Fourth Industrial Revolution Jonathan Poland

Fourth Industrial Revolution

The fourth industrial revolution, also known as Industry 4.0, refers to the current transformation of the economy towards the widespread…

Venture Capital Jonathan Poland

Venture Capital

Venture capital is a type of private equity financing that is provided to early-stage, high-risk, high-potential companies. Venture capital is…

Camping Strategy Jonathan Poland

Camping Strategy

Camping strategy is the practice of a using a geographical location as a competitive advantage. It has several common applications:…

Ambition Jonathan Poland


Ambition is the drive and determination to achieve a particular goal. This can apply to any type of goal, including…

Competitive Intelligence Jonathan Poland

Competitive Intelligence

Competitive intelligence is the process of collecting and analyzing information about competitors, markets, industries, products, and customers in order to…

Artificial Intelligence Jonathan Poland

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think and act like…

Corrective Action Plan Jonathan Poland

Corrective Action Plan

A corrective action plan is a process designed to identify and address problems or issues within an organization. It involves…

Economic Security Jonathan Poland

Economic Security

Economic security refers to the ability of an individual or a household to meet their basic needs, such as food,…