The Power of Standardizing Specification Development

Posted by Deltek on July 21, 2020

Specifications are the non-graphical information that illuminate the comprehensive product detail, quality standards and installation guidance not represented in a drawing. Although most designers go into the profession for the visual components of design, building specifications and product selections are the key to having the visual design intent realized during construction. In doing so, this important aspect of project information management helps firms avoid unnecessary RFIs and change orders.

According to Deltek’s 41st Annual A&E Clarity Study, standardization is necessary to support project management and deliver desired outcomes. Firms acknowledge the need for clearly defined responsibilities for project managers and designers, improved project information management processes, and more developed internal project management best practices.

How to Standardize Specification Development

With specifications being central to project information management, how can firms better equip their staff to produce quality specs while ensuring efficiency?

Don’t underestimate the power of a guide specification and an office master.

One of the major benefits of creating an office master is the ability to provide the most useful information to your spec-writers and project managers without requiring large amounts of rework. The goal is to achieve the greatest signal to noise ratio possible – in other words, the most information and the least amount of waste.

Like many novelists will advise, write what you know. The same applies to writing building specifications. To build a robust office master that your firm will use and profit from, here some basic tips:

  • Aggregate design and product decisions your firm has already successfully made.
  • Focus on project types that your firm regularly goes after.
  • Pay attention to RFIs in real time and use that data to influence future projects and avoid repeating ambiguity.
  • Don’t get too in the weeds in your office master. Dimensional detail, for example, will be unique to each project. Focus on information that has universal value.
  • Rely on other industry experts. Reach out to Building Product Manufacturers and Contractors to curate project information.

For more in-depth advice on the important of an office master and how to get started, Marc Chavez, Director of AIA MasterSpec®, shares his tips and tricks in a 15 minutes on-demand webcast:


The Power of a Guide Specification and Office Masters

Presented by Marc Chavez, FCSI AIA RELi AP CCS CCCA

Watch on Demand


We’re Here to Help

Deltek has a growing team of architects, engineers and spec-writers that are committed to supporting the industry with the most-used and most-trusted specification content, tools and resources. If your firm is interested in improving your specification development and non-visual information management, contact us directly or request a personalized demo today.