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”There’s Nothing Functional about a Functional Spec Don’t write a functional specifications document

These blueprint docs usually wind up having almost nothing to do with the finished product. Here’s why: Functional specs are fantasies

They don’t reflect reality. An app is not real until builders are building it, designers are designing it, and people are using it. Functional specs are just words on paper.”

Functional specs only lead to an illusion of agreement

Functional specs force you to make the most important decisions when you have the least information You know the least about something when you begin to build it. The more you build it, the more you use it, the more you know it. That’s when you should be making decisions — when you have more information, not less.

Functional specs don’t let you evolve, change,and reassess A feature is signed off and agreed on. Even if you realize during development that it’s a bad idea, you’re stuck with it. Specs don’t deal with the reality that once you start building something, everything changes.

So what should you do in place of a spec? Go with a briefer alternative that moves you toward something real. Write a one page story about what the app needs to do. Use plain language and make it quick. If it takes more than a page to explain it, then it’s too complex. This process shouldn’t take more than one day.

Then begin building the interface — the interface will be the alternative to the functional spec. Draw some quick and simple paper sketches. Then start coding it into html. Unlike paragraphs of text that are open to alternate interpretations, interface designs are common ground that everyone can agree on. Confusion disappears when everyone starts using the same screens. Build an interface everyone can start looking at, using, clicking through, and ”feeling” before you start worrying about back-end code. Get yourself in front of the customer experience as much as possible.