Specification Writing

a course presented over two days

Presented by Mr. Robert Halligan FIE Aust or Mr. Clive Tudge CEng MIET



The two day Specification Writing course provides detailed instructions on the conversion of requirements into highly effective requirements specifications. Issues of structure (organization of information) and the use of (English) language throughout a requirements specification are examined in considerable detail. Public domain specification standards are overviewed and compared. High quality templates/guides are provided for the specification of systems, software, interfaces and services, respectively, with examples. The training is strongly workshop oriented throughout. The techniques of specification writing that are taught have been used to great effect in scenarios that include acquisition, supply, product definition (both hardware and software), enterprise internal projects, business analysis and engineering projects of diverse types, large and small.

Who Should Attend This Course?

Specification Writing is designed for acquirer, supplier and developer personnel who, in any capacity, deal with requirements.

Training Method and Materials

For each course attended, you will be provided with:

  • comprehensive course notes
  • a workbook containing workshop exercises
  • workshop model solutions
  • checklists, forms and charts which you can use immediately in your projects
  • a CD-Rom with extensive documents and resources
  • access to PPI's Systems Engineering Goldmine

Specification Writing Course Outline

1. Transforming Requirements into Requirements Specifications

  • what is a requirements specification?
  • how requirements specifications relate to requirements
  • how requirements specifications relate to configuration baselines
  • preparing for the transition from requirements to requirements specification
  • using a requirements database to automate requirements specification production

2. Requirements Flowdown into Requirements Specifications

  • the specification tree
  • special considerations for interface requirements

3. Requirements Specification Types

  • types of requirements specification
  • IEEE specification standards
  • US Military and other international specification standards
  • score sheet for public domain specification standards

4. Structuring Your Requirements Specification

  • what to put in your system requirements specifications, the statement of work (or equivalent) and the conditions of contract
  • workshop - allocating requirements to solicitation documents
  • structuring a statement of work
  • structuring a system requirements specification
  • dealing with variants
  • workshop - writing a scope section to deal with variants
  • states and modes
  • workshop - structuring a specification to deal with states, modes and functions
  • functional versus design oriented specifications
    • differences
    • when to use each type
  • function and performance
  • workshop - classifying specified requirements as functional or design
  • workshop - writing a functionally oriented requirements specification
  • workshop - writing a design oriented requirements specification
  • other requirements types
  • annexes, appendices and applicable documents

5. Requirements Specification Writing

  • review of requirements quality
  • requirement structural template
  • workshop - writing requirements using the parasing template
  • requirements constructs
    • shall, should, will and may
    • linking
    • cross-referencing
    • workshop - linking and cross-referencing
    • defining terms
    • workshop - defining terms
    • context dependence
    • reference to applicable documents
  • use of precedence
  • workshop - using precedence
  • using success criteria to express otherwise vague requirements
  • workshop - using success criteria
  • workshop - key specification for a system
  • paragraph headings
  • use of supporting data
    • mission profiles/use cases
    • baseline designs
    • benchmarks
  • linking the specification to the statement of work or conditions of contract
  • verification specifications
  • optional workshop - evaluation of example specifications

6. Bibliography

  • additional reference material

About the Workshop leaders -

Mr. Robert Halligan, FIE Aust.

Your presenter, Mr Robert Halligan, FIE (Aust), is Managing Director of Project Performance (Australia) Pty Limited. He was also founder of Technology Australia Pty Limited, a consultancy company which received remarkable success in guiding its clients to success in winning and performing on major defence and aerospace projects. Mr Halligan has previously held senior project-related engineering and management positions with Rockwell, Andrew Corporation and the Department of Defence (Australia). Mr Halligan has honed his experience over twenty years in the engineering of large communications, computing and electronic warfare systems...

Click here for full presenter biography

Mr. Clive Tudge, CEng MIET

Clive Tudge is a professional Chartered Engineer with considerable national and International experience in senior project management, engineering management, and more recently, training positions in industry and government.

Clive obtained his College Diploma at the College of Electronics, which was then attached to the Ministry of Defence in the U.K. The Diploma qualified him as a Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), which is now known as the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). Clive has been on the Committee of the IET in Queensland for the last 20 years, and for three of these years was the President.

Prior to arriving in Australia, in Europe Clive held many senior Project Director positions in the aviation sector on projects such as the Tornado, Jaguar and Hawk aircraft. In Germany, he was the Senior Project Director on a unique Fly-By-Wire Flight Control System for the Typhoon Eurofighter Project, and Project Manager on various systems for the European Tiger Helicopter.

In Australia, Clive has worked with many government agencies and industrial companies including Ansett Technologies, Datacraft, Queensland Rail, Brisbane City Council, Telstra, Optus, QANTAS, Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) and Energex, helping to bring projects to a successful conclusion. Clive has founded, and has run, successful software development companies, completing complex software-intensive projects on time, within budget and satisfying customer needs.

Clive has been involved in all aspects of procurement from requirements definition and requirements analysis and through to operational support. He has performed roles from software engineer through to Project Chief Engineer and Project Director on multi-million dollar projects. Key skill areas include: project management, systems process evaluation, risk management, system engineering design and acceptance, systems engineering training, airworthiness analysis, communications systems, engineering change management, flight testing and systems process auditing.

Click here for full presenter biography


For further information on how to register, or to download a copy of the registration form, please click here.

Download Brochure

Specification Writing Course Schedule (Scroll to view full schedule)

How to Register

There are three simple ways to register to one of our courses.

  1. Online. You may register online by clicking the "register online" link next to the course of interest.
  2. Fax. Download a registration form by clicking the link above the schedule and fax the completed form to our offices on +61 3 9876 2664 (Australia) or +1 888 772 5191 (North America).
  3. Email. Download a registration form by clicking the link next to the course of interest and email the form here.

Upon receiving a completed registration form, a course confirmation letter and invoice will be sent electronically to the email provided within 1-2 business days. Payment can made by credit card or by bank transfer.

If you need any assistance with the registration process or have any queries, please call one of our friendly team members on Australia +61 3 9876 7345, UK +44 20 3286 1995, North America +1 888 772 5174, Brazil +55 11 3230 8256 or email us.


"The best thing about the course was the real-life examples"

delegate, Australia

All courses are available on-site

Benefits of on-site training for your organisation include:

  • tailored in delivery to your industry
  • savings of up to 50%
  • encourages teamwork
  • formal tailoring possible

Enquire about on-site training for your company

Quote of the Day

The meanings of the terms Operational Concept Description (OCD) and Concept of Operations (CONOPS) have become so hopelessly muddled that it is time to invent new, clearly distinguishable names for each. Watch this space. -Robert Halligan

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