How to write a great product specification sheet

Reading time: about 7 min


  • Agile and project planning

Thousands of new products are released every year, and a majority of these products will fail for various reasons, including low consumer demand, poor marketing, unexpected costs, crowded markets, and so on. This doesn’t mean that the majority of new products are bad. It just means that successfully launching a new product can be difficult.

So how can you improve your odds of successfully launching a new product? A good start includes writing a great product specification sheet.

In this post, we’ll discuss how to write a great product specification sheet (also called a product spec sheet, product specs, specs sheet, or specs). Whether you’re new to the product manager role or an experienced professional, knowing how to write an effective product spec sheet is a crucial step in the success of your product’s development.

What is a specification sheet?

Product spec sheets are used for building products. The spec sheet outlines how the product will be designed, what functions will be included, its target audience, how it will be used, regulatory requirements, and more. In this way, the product spec sheet is like a blueprint for product development. It outlines product management, quality control, sales, marketing, key stakeholders, and other considerations. It helps keep the entire team aligned throughout the development process. 

Why are product specs important?

A well-written product spec sheet is important because it can keep you focused and ensure that the product meets your vision and customer needs. The spec sheet is also important for the following reasons:

  • Communication: The product specs eliminate ambiguity by clearly communicating the details of a product’s design.

  • Regulatory compliance: A spec sheet documents how the product complies with all regulatory certifications, safety requirements, and environmental standards.

  • Sales and marketing support: A product spec sheet helps sales teams understand what the product is and how it is valuable to potential customers. Marketing teams can use it as an aid for creating promotions and campaigns.

  • Customer understanding: Product specs can be made available to customers so they can evaluate whether the product will meet their needs before deciding to purchase.

What should a product spec sheet include?

A comprehensive spec sheet might include the following elements:

  • Product summary: Write a clear and concise overview that describes what the product is, its purpose, the target audience, high-level features to be included, and how long it should take to develop it.

  • Business case: Outline how developing this product will benefit the company. Include estimations for the budget and the resources you’ll need to develop the product.

  • User stories: These are short descriptions of features as seen from the potential user’s point of view.

  • User personas: These are short, fictional profiles that represent the target audience.

  • Functional requirements: Include the specific functions your product must have before it can be released.

  • Technical description: Describe the product’s technical aspects like architecture, database, integrations, modules, etc. Include anything that helps your development teams to understand the underlying technology.

  • Design specifications and UX guidelines: Include product drawings, diagrams, illustrations, ergonomic details, and user interactions. Describe the desired user experience (UX) aspects like navigation, layout, usability, and accessibility.

  • Performance specifications: Specify the benchmarks that will be used to measure the product’s performance. This can include response time, execution time, storage capacity, and reliability.

  • Risks and challenges: Include a list of potential risks and challenges that could occur during the product’s development. Anticipating these risks can help you manage and mitigate them if they come up.

What are the steps for writing a product spec sheet?

Now that you know what a product spec sheet is, why it’s important, and what should be included in one, you’re ready to start writing one. You can create a product spec sheet using a virtual whiteboard like Lucidspark.

With Lucidspark, you can easily share documents with team members who can access the document from anywhere at any time. This makes it easy to collaborate and get input from all team members.

No matter how you choose to create your documents, the following steps can help you to write an effective spec sheet: 

Step 1: Define the problem

To begin, you need to define the problem that this product will solve. This can be a specific business challenge, a customer pain point, or a customer need. The challenge or problem needs to be stated in the spec sheet’s product summary.

Step 2: Know your audience

Understand who will be interacting with your product. This means you will need to do some research to determine the preferences, habits, behaviors, pain points, and expectations of your potential customers. This research helps you to understand what your customers want from your product so you have a better idea of what can be done to give it to them. Adding this information to your spec helps your teams to stay aligned with user expectations.

Step 3: Determine which key elements you want to include

This is where you include elements such as the product summary, functional requirements, and UX guidelines.

Step 4: Get input from team members and key stakeholders

Don’t try to create the spec sheet on your own. You are the owner of the document, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get input and feedback from other people involved in the project. Working with key stakeholders, developers, designers, testers, and other team members, can improve buy-in and support of your project while making everyone involved feel valued for their input.

Step 5: Identify which product specifications should be included

Include the specifications, like safety regulations, dimensions, compliance standards, and high-level design specs that will make your product safe and operate the way it is intended to. This information makes it easier for your development team to start designing a product to meet customer needs. User stories can be useful here to help you identify key specifications that must be included.

Step 6: Review and revise

Get additional feedback from stakeholders, team members, and customers. This might include creating mockups and prototypes that give reviewers a visual of how the product works. This will give you a better idea of what works, what doesn’t work, what might be too complicated, and what might be placed in the product backlog for a future iteration. Adjust the document as needed based on feedback.

Step 7: Use the spec sheet as a blueprint for production

After you have revised the document and your product spec sheet is complete, use it as a roadmap or a blueprint to develop and build your product. This will help your team align with customer needs so they can prioritize tasks accordingly.

Tips for writing a great product spec sheet

The goal of a spec sheet is to help your team understand the product, what it can do, its requirements, and how it will provide value and meet customer needs. The following tips can help you to create a well-organized spec sheet that helps the team to confidently build the right product.

  • Use clear and concise language to make it easier for everybody to understand.

  • Include diagrams and illustrations to help developers understand the product’s design, requirements, and components.

  • Make the spec sheet accessible to everybody working on the project. A virtual whiteboard like Lucidspark makes it easy to share a single document with the whole team so they can collaborate in real time. This ensures that team members always have access to the most current and up-to-date version of the document.

  • Make your section headings clear and easy to navigate so team members can quickly refer to the information they need.

  • Make sure the spec sheet is focused on customer expectations and needs. Don’t make it a list of things that you would like to see added to the product.


Like most of the documents you create for managing products, your job is not finished after you’ve written a great product specification sheet. It is a living document that needs to be reviewed and updated often to reflect changing customer demands and the market. 

A well-written and up-to-date spec sheet provides a powerful guideline for developing and launching a successful product. Using Lucidspark to create and manage your documents helps your team to collaborate and stay on the same page throughout the development process.

Now that you know how to write a product spec sheet, begin your product development process with Lucidspark.

Learn more

About Lucidspark

Lucidspark, a cloud-based virtual whiteboard, is a core component of Lucid Software's Visual Collaboration Suite. This cutting-edge digital canvas brings teams together to brainstorm, collaborate, and consolidate collective thinking into actionable next steps—all in real time. Lucid is proud to serve top businesses around the world, including customers such as Google, GE, and NBC Universal, and 99% of the Fortune 500. Lucid partners with industry leaders, including Google, Atlassian, and Microsoft. Since its founding, Lucid has received numerous awards for its products, business, and workplace culture. For more information, visit

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