Process specification is a generic term for the specification of a process. Its context is not unique to "business activity" but can be applied to any organizational activity.
Within some structured methods, the capitalized term Process Specification refers to a description of the procedure to be followed by an actor within an elementary level business activity, as represented on a process model such as a dataflow diagram or IDEF0 model. A common alias is minispec short for miniature specification.
Use in systems development
The process specification defines what must be done in order to transform inputs into outputs. It is a detailed set of instructions outlining a business procedure that each elementary level business activity is expected to carry out. Process specifications are commonly included as an integral component of a requirements document in systems development.
There are a variety of approaches that can be used to produce a process specification including
- decision tables
- structured English (favored technique of most systems analysts)
- pre/post conditions
- use cases, basic course or events/alternate paths in use cases
- Nassi–Shneiderman diagram
- UML Activity diagram
No matter what approach is used, it must communicate to system development designers, implementers and support professionals, as well as be verifiable by the stakeholders/end users.