Can you proceed with a web project w/o technical specifications?
We believe that it is possible in certain cases despite the risks involved. The key here is to understand how development works and know the possible difficulties. This comes with experience.
When there are no technical specifications (TS), you have to focus on the customer's general idea about the project.
Still, you can easily miss crucial functions or add redundant features that the customer and users won't actually need.
The TS could occasionally impede or interfere with the productive work. Thus, we start with the formulation of the task, not with standards or regulations.
The manager should know if the project needs TS at the stage of negotiations. And, of course, they discuss it with the customer.
In some cases
you may not need TS:
It is a small standard project.
Clear and simple tasks can be tackled with predictable solutions or templates. If the development takes a few weeks, it would be unwise to spend time on TS.
If the customer and agency trust each other.
If you have already worked with the customer and you have no doubts on each other's adequacy, it may be unnecessary to set the rigid TS. The strict TS are demotivating for developers and extra costs could be included within the working process. Therefore, it can be better to simply discuss the business requirements and the final product.
Product modernization is required.
Working with an existing product can be tough. You will have to delve into the code, dive deep into the architecture components and other people's dirty hacks. Yet, it is money and time. Based on our experience, we can say it takes at least a month. So it makes it almost impossible to complete the TS at the planning stage. You can explain this point of view to the customer and decide if you need it or not.
The cooperation works per Time & Material
In some cases you need a flexible approach to the development, e.g. when the customer has a vague idea of what they want as a result or if the business requirements are getting updated along with the development.
The Time & Material basis is perfect here, with payments tied to work hours. In such cases the TS would definitely be excessive.
Mutual trust and understanding of the risks contribute to working w/o TS. However, this is not enough while working with major and complicated projects. That's why try to consider the following:
Analyze a specific situation
Adequately assess the risks
Make a well-considered decision if the TS would really help to solve your problem or get in the way of the process
If you have any questions left on the TS, please watch our Wemakefab webinar'How to compile TS for the website development.'