Lexicon, I can't agree more. One of the places I worked for was a company that made their money off of their information and software. Their IT and Product Development had specs and testing for everything. I really hadn't realized the complete advantage to the programmer and to everyone else involved until much later. One's whole design is based off of it, but until it's agreed with one's manager and client on how and what the program should do.. one doesn't start it (which makes life a whole lot easier). Just a few months ago, I had a task to create
a small program to do a very simple task - the feel and look of it was totally up to me. Well, there was no spec for it. I HIGHLY regretted it a couple of weeks later. The complete project was re-vamped from the bottom up - what it was supposed to do, how it was doing it, what it looked like.. The sad thing is the client didn't see it until it was approved by mgt (unfortunately, they wanted functionality of the first version.. but alas.. I have to leave it up to mgt as to when it will be revised again). I couldn't go back to the spec and say .. "See, this was the objective of the project.." - because there wasn't a spec to go back to. Everything was loose translation. I've learned my lesson well from that experience. I think no spec not only drives programmers crazy, but also the mgt... as well as losing time, money, and energy on projects. So, now I'm a definate disciple of.. Specifications.. ALWAYS!
in reply to Benefits of the Specification