The Need for Speed!

What do you do when a repeat client calls you and says "I have the need, the need for speed!"? Meaning, he needs a specification in less than a week to meet its milestone commitment. Our valued client, SOSH architects, needed specifications for renovations to a hotel and sent us drawings late on a Friday afternoon, requesting draft CD phase specs by the following Friday, a 5 business day turnaround. We were unsure whether that could be done, but felt confident the draft would not be more than 2 or 3 business days late.


Having extensive hospitality project experience, I was assigned the project and laid out the strategy on how to successfully deliver outstanding specifications and speed as the wing man / consultant to my airman. Here is how the schedule went, and together we accomplished this mission with amazing speed.


  • I began analyzing the drawings in the morning to determine what sections would be needed. It turned out to be a limited number because all the renovations were interior except for replacement glass in a large atrium skylight.
  • I initiated a phone interview with the Architect to clarify what types of products would be required.
  • After identifying needed specification sections, I set up the project in Conspectus Cloud, utilizing the software’s checklist not just to list needed sections, but to add the spec masters into the project database.
  • I then invited the project architect to participate as a reviewer.
  • By early Monday afternoon, I was editing sections for the architect’s review.

Using the Comment feature in Conspectus Cloud, I addressed questions regarding content of the sections to the project architect. Conspectus Cloud has a handy feature that can be used to notify a project participant about a comment needing response or to alert the project architect that the spec section is ready for full review. Using this feature, our client was able to keep up with sections as they were being developed and alert us from within the system when the review was complete.

Tuesday & Wednesday:

  • In between editing new sections, our specifier was able to incorporate review comments as they were received. Thus the reviewer did not have to wait for a PDF of the draft sections to review, nor did the specifier have to wait to get all comments in a single group. The Architect liked being able continue working on the drawings and fit reviewing into convenient segments of time.

Conspectus has developed an internal set of specification masters for use in our innovative Conspectus Cloud software. These sections have been written following the “lean” principle of tracking value to eliminate waste. In specifications, waste means statements that do not add value to the document or are otherwise unnecessary. Our experience is that brevity is effective for communication and compliance by the end user—the contractor and its subcontractors. Less time is thus needed to edit sections than many other systems while still protecting the owner’s interests.

There are always new subjects for specifications and this project needed one section not included in our spec masters. Conspectus Cloud has a blank template that can be used for such sections, and when the draft was ready the architect was notified for the review so it could be processed in the same manner as other sections.


  • In the morning, all review comments had been processed and the final set was ready to be exported into Microsoft Word, along with an automatically generated Table of Contents.
  • By mid-afternoon - We were then ready to convert the files and upload PDF files to the Architect!

From starting with drawings, myself and the project architect were able to complete a set of 28 specification sections in less than 30 hours. Conspectus Cloud was the reason we were successful in achieving this speed-needed mission!

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