How Most Specifications are Managed Today
Specifications have become a bit of an enigma, as they’re supposed to free internal and external stakeholders from the confusion and ambiguity that often surrounds production by bridging gaps in communication. However, without proper management of specifications, it’s impossible to use them to their fullest potential.
Current methods of specification management include spreadsheets, PDFs, Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERPs), home grown databases and even pen and paper. These legacy systems frequently cause issues because, frankly, they weren’t built to manage the granular data in specifications and the relationships between them. These issues often result from a lack of version control, which can result in both internal and external stakeholders not being on the same page.
Companies using these systems often find themselves emailing spreadsheets and PDFs back and forth, struggling to update all stakeholders when a change has been made, or scrambling to find that one piece of paper that was “just on the desk a second ago!” These challenges have been compounded by SKU proliferation. As the number of products companies manage continues to grow, these outdated methods of managing specifications makes it difficult to scale.
To take control of specifications, companies need a single source of truth that can be accessed by stakeholders across and outside of their organization. This need has led to a rise of a new category of software - specification management.