Specification / Requirements Definition
A lot of companies talk about having clear product specifications and system's requirements documents. We rarely find a company that has the balance of clear specifications and responsive product development. It is very hard to have both. If you spend too much time dotting every "i" and crossing every "t" you never get going on the product.
Not every one knows how deep the specification should go. Or, what are systems requirements and what are software requirements. Balance and experience is important. We like to say that the system/software requirement document should provide everything (explicitly or by reference) that is needed to design, code and test the system/software. No more and no less.
MicroTools has consistently delivered both clear specifications and responsive product development to our clients. In 15 years we have delivered thousands of pages of software and systems requirements documents to our customers as well as getting product out the door on time and on budget.
We generally work to IEEE standards for the format of our specifications but have also worked with DOD standards and with specific client standards. What matters is not format - but clarity, completeness, and accuracy.
Very often, this phase of the contract with our client is done fixed price with a Rough Order of Magnitude quote for the remaining portion. Once the specification phase is far enough along for us to quantify the task, we provide a fixed price quote for the remaining portion.