Developers need to understand exactly what changes the client wants on their site. The manager communicates with the client. It is he who must pass on all the information received to his colleagues. How to do it competently and avoid a "broken phone"? To do this, there is a document called TT - terms of reference. In this document, the information is presented in an understandable language for employees of an IT company and contains not only key points, but also all the small things. So, how to write a technical specification so that the client is satisfied with your work at the end?

TT is not a list of requirements. This is a document that regulates the work between the customer and the IT firm. This is a way to transfer information from the client to developers, layout designers, designers, SEO specialists, testers, content managers, SMM specialists, copywriters, etc. Properly drawn up TOR increases the guarantee of obtaining a quality result at the output.

It doesn't matter if the site is small or large. The document eliminates disagreements between the expectations of the client and the specialists who work on his project. We are not talking about time and financial resources here.

The first thing we pay attention to while writing the TT is the scale of the company that is developing it. If 5 people work in a team and understand each other perfectly, then the formalism in the document can be omitted. If several departments are involved in the work, each of which has several employees, then formalities are indispensable. A large team can only be managed with the help of a process, and it implies a formality. In terms of its volume, TT can be more or less, depending on the level of complexity of the processes.

What questions does a high-quality technical specification for a website help answer?

  1. Is this interface suitable for further work.
  2. Is it possible to work with it further, how to apply it in subsequent processes.

Before proceeding with the preparation of the terms of reference, it is worth discussing all issues within the team. Each of the specialists will give their comments, offer ideas for improvement. Limitations due to the project budget are also taken into account. The goal of each team member is to do the best possible job, based on the given budget.

It is necessary to discuss the difficulties that may arise not only for you, but also for the client. Many years of experience of specialists at the stage of drafting the document will help to eliminate «sharp corners».


Why does the customer need TT?

What advantages do the client get if there is a technical task? How will it help in cooperation with a web studio?

  • Client insurance. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous contractors. Therefore, this document acts as evidence that the work was supposed to be like this, but in fact something completely different was done.
  • TT is a structure of work, processes and ideas. It happens that the customer does not have a clear idea of what changes are needed for his site. It is expressed in obscure words, thoughts "float". And TT helps to understand each other correctly. In the terms of reference, everything is laid out on the shelves and is a single structured document.
  • Budget savings. Thoughtful tasks exclude the possibility of problems not only for the client, but also for the employees of the Internet agency.


Why does a contractor need a technical specification?

The document is as important for the contractor as it is for the customer. A competent task saves nerves during the development of the site.

  • Artist's alibi. If in the end the client demands something that was not indicated in the document, the contractor can always turn to the TT to prove that he has fulfilled all the stipulated and agreed points.
  • Safety of working time. When all the points are in the task, the processes are detailed, there will be no unnecessary questions that will slow down the work. Each of the team members follows his own points clearly and implements the customer's ideas into reality.

How to write a technical task for the site.

The easiest way is to invite the customer to fill out a brief. Recall that the brief is a list of questions that indicate the expected results. The client must answer for what purpose the site is being modified, what expectations he has from the work of the site, what exactly he wants to change to achieve the result.


Sometimes the brief replaces the TOR if it is detailed, understandable to both parties and signed by them. The difference is that the brief is the vision of the team of specialists, and the terms of reference is the final document, which, in addition to the wishes of the client, contains your agreed adjustments.


When compiling the TOR, at the very beginning it will not be complete, because any specialist who will work with this project will have questions and comments. ToR throughout the work can be adjusted. If the changes are impressive, they are discussed with the customer. Adjustment of the task is a normal and inevitable process.


What items should contain TT.


There are a number of standard questions that the client answers before receiving the finished TOR. Here are the questions (they may be supplemented or changed):

  1. Information about the company.
  2. The target audience.
  3. Site goals.
  4. Analysis of an existing site.
  5. Preliminary site structure.
  6. Approximate page structure.
  7. Design and layout requirements.
  8. Available files.
  9. Minimum resolution and display devices.
  10. Do you need a mobile version.
  11. Sample set of modules.
  12. Administration capabilities.
  13. Connection of payment systems and delivery services.
  14. Integration with CRM, 1C and other programs.
  15. Questions from the developer.
  16. Additional wishes.


What to consider when working with TT?

In the process of making changes, the TOR can be fundamentally corrected. The contractor is trying to improve some steps in order to get a better result. When a document changes, a list of those changes must be made.


TT controls disagreements between the customer and the contractor. Having compiled a document based on the brief, the output may differ from the expected one. Therefore, control intermediate processes. Once again check the already finished elements to be sure that the work is going in accordance with the terms of reference.