What is a Business Requirement Document, and Does Your Business Project Need One?
In essence, YES! Avoiding wasting valuable business resources should be a priority during all projects, regardless of your project type or industry. In short, a business requirement document is a way of showing the goals of the business, and should outline three key factors. First, it should include every component of a project, from the major sections to the smallest details. Secondly, it should outline the expected outcome of the project, including cost and company expectations moving forwards. Third, it should define the key stakeholders. If done correctly, ambiguity is something that should not remain to anyone that reads this document.
When does the occasion require a business requirements document?
A BRD should be used when beginning projects with new clients—as well as when you begin new projects with existing ones–– seeking new contractors, new technology, and etc. A BRD is vital to current and future success in establishing goals for a business. Moreover, it essentially provides knowledge management to distribute the goals and objectives of a company or client for all involved parties. There is also software known as knowledge management systems that help departments connect, store, and access information. These are very similar to record management, but the bottom line is that they can be a powerful tool for content management. Click here to learn more about knowledge management systems and software.
Is a BRD the same as a Functional Requirement Document (FRD)?
No, they are not the same. In order to better understand both of these work, it’s best to think of a BRD as the ‘what’ and a FRD as the ‘how’. A BRD outlines the goals of a business, while an FRD explains how a business plans to reach those goal(s). Thus, while they are not the same, both documents compliment each other.
What does a Business Requirements Document consist of?
While each business requirement document is unique, they all tend to share the same eight elements in one form or another. Following the notes from the business requirements document template below helps outline the process and documentation end result.
Though the executive summary section should be at the top of your BRD, it should be written last in order to ensure maximum clarity and efficacy. Thus, anyone who opens the Business Requirements Document should be able to understand the main idea from the very first page.
This section describes the goals and objectives of a company, however, it also states the desired outcomes and how they align with the company’s objectives. A good way to get this section started is to use the SMART System.
The SMART System helps form effective project objectives. The acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Keeping your objectives specific is important, otherwise they can lack focus, and become vague. Being able to measure and track your goals is also very important in knowing if your project is successful or not. Seeking unattainable goals is like setting up your company for failure, however, setting challenging goals is great as it ensures growth. It is also important that the relevance of the project objectives align with company values. It is easy to stray from projects so, having time-bound deadline and milestones would help in making constant progress.
The Needs Statements section is where you explain the necessity of your project to all involved parties, such as company stakeholders, employees, and vendors. This section provides consistent information to make everyone support the project as it was designed or agreed upon.
Defining the boundaries of a project is very important, asit can often become easy to deviate from a project. Defining these boundaries helps avoid scope creep which can waste precious time, money, and other company resources.
Gather all the project requirements: High level requirements and Technical requirements. High level requirements are easy to understand. The requirements show steps needed through each phase of the project. Technical issues refer to issues which must be considered in order for the project to be successful. Similarly, this can include availability, performance, and reliability.
Identify all key stakeholders along with their roles and expectations. Does the company need to bring in additional resources? If yes, outline the process and requirements for doing so.
Create a timeline that details the key phases of the project. This should include deadlines, scheduling, and milestones. Taking into account potential liabilities is also great to highlight.
This section will have you label the different costs for the project, however, it should also include the benefits for the return on investments. This section highlights the pros outweigh the cons and the pros help build credibility.
In conclusion, it can often be helpful to look at a business requirement document example from a previously successful project. Making your first business requirements document can seem complicated and digesting all of this at once can be stressful. However, if you follow the key components in the order listed above then you’ll be on the path to success. If you still require more assistance then Essential Data Corporation can be your business management consultants.
How can EDC help?
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Whether you need a team of business management consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. At Essential Data Corporation we guarantee the quality of our work. Contact us today to get started. (800) 221-0093 or email@example.com
Written by Pablo Mota