Functional Spec Debate
Our User Interface Team is in the process of reviewing how we write functional specs. Currently we use an excel spreadsheet to define constants, scenarios and error messaging. Newer people in our group would prefer we use Word docs. Becuase our spec is used to write test cases for new development and to check that the existing functionality is still functioning we have to maintain all of the functionality in one file. The spread sheet we use now is almost 300 pages. A Word doc would be considerably longer. Is there a better option? We're considering building a database.
We put as much of this kind of stuff into databases as we can so that we can easily set up relationships, do filtering, add additional information easily, and all the other good things that databases provide.
For what it's worth... I use a Word document for a plain-English specification, then use that to create a detailed task list spreadsheet. The spec is the "big picture" document that everyone can understand and discuss. The task list is full of technical implementation details and could possibly be used to create test cases, although I mostly use it to estimate, keep track of progress and proritize.
>The spread sheet we use now is almost 300 pages.
Just to clarify my "relevant parts"-statement...
Why would they prefer to use Word? Because they don't know Excel or because of a specific feature?
Personally I use Notepad for specs.
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