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As we all know, we can’t take success for granted.  It is never guaranteed and is not always available to everyone. Sustaining and elevating your success in today’s competitive landscape requires implementing effective strategies.  One vital means of doing this is to make and maintain a business requirements document.

What are Business Requirements Documents?

Business requirements documents (BRD) give a message or overview of the objectives for an upcoming event or project. They also explain the impact of a particular project for a business. A well-built BRD will contain a sample of what the project will look like and its features, information on who will be involved in the project and the different roles they will have, why the project is necessary in order to fulfill the stated desires and goals, and why this will be an asset to the business.

The Importance and Values of Business Requirement Documents

It is obviously possible for a project to succeed without a plan or using this method, but a business requirements document will always help in the long run. Remember, it is important to understand that business requirement documents explain the project’s intentions. Now, let’s dive into the exact message of business requirements documents.

The True Intentions and Goals for Creating Business Requirements Documents

Business Requirements Documents are designed to establish our true intentions for an upcoming project and also relate it back to readers.  Do not overthink this. It is important that organizations make sure to document their information to achieve the best possible results in a given situation. Business Requirement Documents also help with stake-holding, to reduce the number of errors, and to avoid risks. The goal is to achieve and sustain business growth. Our projects are supposed to last for a long time and to achieve their goal over the long term similarly. If a project contains these methods, it is, again, more likely to succeed.

What Should a Business Requirements Document Contain? 

Before diving into this section, it is important to know that all BRDs vary in some way, but most of them should contain certain parts and features. These are some of the most important features a BRD usually contains.

  • Executive Summary: The executive summary talks briefly about the project’s business goals and what is mandatory for its success. The executive summary dives into the main problem the project wants to figure out, what the project will allow a business to do, and the result of the project.
  • Project Objectives: Project objectives build off of the executive summary by providing more information on what the business goals for a project are and what is needed for them to be achieved. Quantitative information and stakeholders are important in this section. You should organize your business goals by the SMART format.  
  • Project Scope: This is where you will discuss the limitations in your project and to stay on point. In your project scope, it is important to include the project deliverables, project milestones, and the acceptance criteria. The project scope should also specify what you do not plan on achieving in your project. The project scope can obtain assumptions as well. This part of the project scope discusses how the project will progress. The assumptions section in the project scope is to make sure that information does not get misinterpreted or spiral out of control. This is information about what could prevent you and your team from achieving the aspirations of your project.
  • Project Blockers: Project blockers are challenges and limitations to a business’s ability to complete a project.  Examples of blockers can include budgetary limitations, time constraints, technological capabilities, employee abilities, and company policies. When we are able to identify these blockers, we are able to come up with more plans for how to most effectively achieve our project’s goals. Avoiding blockers will keep you from going off track with your project.
  • Business Requirements: The business requirements in your project are very straightforward.  They regard what you want or need to do in order to finish your project. When writing up the business requirements, it is important to use the SMART approach mentioned earlier.
  • Personnel Requirements: This section will talk about the quantity and quality of workers that a business needs to do a project. Important information to include here are employee positions and roles, qualifications and responsibilities for each role, the amount of time that is required per role, and cost of the employee during the entirety of the project. This ties in with the financial part of the project.
  • Project Schedule and Timeline: This is where you will organize your due dates for the project, so you do not fall behind in your work.  The timelines are broken down into phases.
  • Financial Statement/Cost-Benefit Analysis: A cost-benefit analysis is necessary to verify the project from a financial standpoint.  This section will contain the breakdown of the financial costs that are associated with the project along with the financial benefits.  Projected costs for the impacts it will have on your company are also important. Intangible costs and benefits are mentioned here as well.

How to Write a Business Requirements Document 

Here we will talk about ways on the creation method to make the BRDs as good as possible. We have already conquered the requirements and objectives, so this is the next step!

Planning Your BRD

Reverse-Engineer Successful Past Projects

Even if you never created a business requirements document before, you do not need to be completely unprepared. You can look at past projects you have previously completed in order to formulate a plan and get an idea of what will be required for the current project to succeed. You could even use these projects as practice BRDs. This will help guide you and give you experience, so you will be closer. This will help gather everyone in the group as well to aid them in understanding what the process will be. 

Focus on the Appropriate BRD Format

Business requirements documentation typically follows a format similar to other types of documentation, but they are not exactly the same. We have to know how to organize information properly for certain purposes. Fortunately, there are many templates for business requirement documents, so we do not have to ever worry about running out of ideas for how to organize information. The goal, however, is to contain multiple ways of organizing information in our project. While business requirements documents templates can guide us, we have to make sure we have all the sections we need when picking a format.

Collecting Requirements

This can be considered the most important part of the process of creating the Business Requirements Document. This will help a our projects grow and develop.  There are several ways to identify business requirements from stakeholders, including data analysis, surveys, and workshopping. The methods will vary depending on the project we choose and the people we will be working with. It is also important that we are attentive to possible obstacles in our project. The first potential obstacle is a lack of focus, which can alter discussions and lack of information.  

Documenting Requirements

We also have to be aware of the process of decontextualization. This is related to our documentation of responses combined with limited information. It is important that we avoid this as it can affect internal pivots as well. Internal pivots and external changes can also affect our data – it is also key to remember that not all methods can work or are considered necessary.

 

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Writing a Business Requirements Document

To start, it is important that we are straight to the point. We have to be short and sweet. Some tips to help keep things brief include shortening sentences, tightening grammar, and limiting certain usages of punctuation and certain text. It is also important to avoid jargon and to use visuals. Forms of multimedia are important.  Examples of useful multimedia types in business requirements documents may include charts, diagrams, and other aids when used appropriately. Showing relationships between stakeholders and processes is also important, as this will help others to avoid misunderstandings and will work out in the long run. This makes BRDs more complete and easier to read.

Reviewing and Concluding Your BRD

We have to review our document and our work with the stakeholders. It is important to focus on data, calculations, and statistics. It is also important to pay attention to assumptions, facts, and other risks. You should also be looking for possible missing work. We want to look into communication as well. Lack of communication can result in a number of negative outcomes. Missing deadlines, personal issues, and inaccurate information must be avoided. It is very important to figure out how well the project communicated information to us. Data collection, as mentioned above, is a part of the communication process in our work. In conclusion, we just have to review our project and make sure that everything is in place. BRDs are a huge part of this.  

Project Planning and Reflection

Project planning and team communication also goes a long way. Project planning can be divided into sections. The first part can be known as initiation. The second part is about planning. The third part is execution. The fourth part is monitoring. Part five is to wrap up our closing thoughts and personal statements. You can also discuss how our project has evolved and how our communication skills grew.  

How EDC Can Help

Business Requirements Documents are there to help keep your work organized, understandable, and capable of meeting business requirement specifications. Having these documents gives you a clear vision of your project. These summaries and written documentation can be essential resources to guarantee great work.

Whether you need a single technical writer for a brief project or a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation, the quality of our work is guaranteed for you. Our clients work closely with an Engagement Manager from one of our 30 local offices for the entire length of your project at no additional cost. Contact us at (800) 221-0093 or sales@edc.us to get started.