What is a Product Specification?

A product specification (also referred to as “product specs”) is a document with a set of requirements that provides product teams the information they need to build out new features or functionality.

A good product spec doesn’t micro-manage product development. Rather, it gives them relevant context about users, business needs and other criteria to help them make informed decisions as they design and build a solution.

What goes into a product specification?

Product specs don’t have be long or overly technical. In fact, the most effective product specs are actually pretty brief.

You know your product spec has done its job when it answers the following questions:

  1. What are we building and why?
  2. What should the final build achieve?
  3. How do we measure success?

You can start building a product spec from the moment you have an idea and keep building on it until you push it over to product development. 

ProdPad Idea Canvas

The level of detail in your product specs depends on your company, but generally once you’ve defined the above, it’s more effective to leave the details of the final implementation in the hands of the dev team.

The business case: 

What effect are we expecting it to have on our bottom line? (Include the associated OKRs or KPIs)

User stories:

What does the user want to achieve? What is their motivation? (Grab this user stories template)

Mockups and sketches:

What might the final build look like? (It’s helpful to include feedback)

User personas: 

Who are we building this for and how will they benefit?

Technical specs:

Are there any technical issues to consider?

Customer feedback:

What have customers said in the past that we would like to address with this spec?

How can ProdPad help?

ProdPad’s requirements management tools help your draft product ideas into complete product specs. Our integrations enable you to push straight to development, including JIRA, Trello and PivotalTracker. Try ProdPad free today.