Project Specifications

A specification list as shown in Table 11-1 is separately identified or called out as part of the statement of work. Specifications are used for man-hour, equipment, and material estimates. Small changes in a specification can cause large cost overruns.

Another reason for identifying the specifications is to make sure that there are no surprises for the customer downstream. The specifications should be the most current revision. It is not uncommon for a customer to hire outside agencies to evaluate the technical proposal and to make sure that the proper specifications are being used.

Specifications are, in fact, standards for pricing out a proposal. If specifications do not exist or are not necessary, then work standards should be included in the proposal. The work standards can also appear in the cost volume of the proposal. Labor justification backup sheets may or may not be included in the proposal, depending on RFP/RFQ (request for quotation) requirements.

Several years ago, a government agency queried contractors as to why some government programs were costing so much money. The main culprit turned out to be the specifications. Typical specifications contain twice as many pages as necessary, do not stress quality enough, are loaded with unnecessary designs and schematics, are difficult to read and update, and are obsolete before they are published. Streamlining existing specifications is a costly and time-consuming effort. The better alternative is to educate those people involved in specification preparation so that future specifications will be reasonably correct.

4. Statement of Work Handbook NHB5600.2, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, February 1975.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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