Process specifications are a generic term used for the analysis of a process. It is certainly not exclusive to manufacturing activity, but is also applicable to any other organizational activity performed by humans. The meaning of Process Specification is "The procedure for measuring and comparing the performance of one or more procedures that constitute an ordered sequence of activities." In simple terms it can be said that Process Specification is a tool used for quality control, and inspection. It enables an organization to align their processes with organizational objectives, and also reduces costs associated with errors and inefficient production or supply chain management.
For those unfamiliar with the term, Process Specification (PS) is actually the output of various levels of the project development lifecycle. At the highest level, the lifecycle includes project scheduling, design, and testing of all phases of the project from conception to implementation. The PS definition in English, thus, means "a set of data flows that are designed and managed in a manner specified by the project manager." From this description it is easy to see how processes become specification driven, as requirements and data flows become the driving force behind the development of processes.
While processes become specified, and the objectives and methods of the processes are known, the tools used to monitor these processes become part of the Process Specification Language (PSL). PSL is a simple framework of relational and object-oriented database principles, which are then translated into a set of static, reusable Process Specifications. The primary use of Process Specifications in the real world is to create quality systems through automated test techniques, and to enforce contract compliance through performance management. Process Specifications also become part of the overall Quality Management process, which seeks to align the customer needs with the most appropriate product or service solution. A good example of a quality process that uses a combination of Process Specifications and Quality Management Process (QPM) is the U.S. Air Force, which applies a variation of QPM and Process Specifications during the product life cycle.