Key elements of a business requirements document
Business Requirements Document
Are you planning to start a new project? or
Are you thinking of expanding to a new geographical location? or
Are you considering the development of a new product or service?
Whatever the case is, before moving ahead with the actual process or project, prepare a business requirements document. A business requirements document (BRD) describes the solution for a project or business need. It mentions the critical activities required to be performed to answer the business requirement. It includes customer needs and expectations, the reason for developing a solution, and the challenges faced in the solution’s development and deployment.
Specifically, BRD acts as a guide to the stakeholders for planning for the solution’s design, structure, features, and benefits that enable them to resolve the business need and thereby, achieve organizational objectives. The business requirements document describes the input for each step and the output expected from each step of the process, thereby preparing the groundwork for all the phases and their deliverables. The key objectives of creating a business requirements document are:
- To have all the stakeholders on the same page regarding expectations from the product
- To understand how the solution will address the business needs
- To act as an understanding between the business and the technology provider regarding customers’ or end-users’ expectations from the solution
Creating a BRD is an essential condition for any project’s success. The stakeholders such as project managers, project team, subject matter experts, business partners, and any other required team must work on the BRD together. They must be aware of the key components of a BRD and avoid missing any.
Components of a BRD Document
The key elements that you must include in your business requirements document are:
This section must be completed at the end after completing all the sections. In this section, you must summarize the project by outlining the key business requirements.
Objectives and goals
In this section, you must include the goals and objectives that you intend to achieve from the project. You must mention the beneficiaries of this project, the achievement expected from its completion, and how do the project goals align with the overall organizational goals. You must mention the key measures of performance that help you to declare the project a success. Write your goals in SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely) format.
Mentioning the project scope is a key requirement, as it allows the team to have a single perspective on what the project intends to achieve within the budgeted time, resources, and money. In this section of the BRD, you must mention the inclusions and exclusions of the project, specifically the boundaries within which the project must work.
This is a crucial section since it answers the question, “Why conduct this project?” You must explain the key reasons behind conducting this project and how it will benefit the company in the short-term or long-term, thereby contributing to business growth.
This is the heart of the business requirements document, as it answers the what, when, where, and how of the project. Here, you collect all the information on requirements and document them. You must mention the key requirements in terms of human resources required, financing, technologies, and other resources for the successful completion of the project. You may segment this section in multiple subsections for a clear division of functional, financial, and human requirements. Besides, text format, you can also present it using diagrams, charts, or other creative possibilities.
This is a critical component of a BRD since it builds the credibility of the project in front of the key stakeholders of the company who are interested in knowing the benefits of the project to the company and the challenges ahead. You must carefully study and assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the project.
Budget and financial impact
In this section, you must mention the key sources of funding for the project. You must be able to write about the sources from where money will be taken for this project and how the financing will be structured so that the continuity is not affected. You must also include the financial implications of the project on the company’s financial statements and standing.
Timelines and scheduling
A key requirement of a project is the timelines for each phase of the project so that it is completed on time. You must mention all the phases of the project, divide them into small sub-phases, and mention the person responsible for the completion of each sub-phase. This section answers the ‘when’ question of the project, giving clarity to all the stakeholders regarding the integrity of the project process. You must also allow some time for unforeseen and uncertain situations that may suddenly affect your project.
You must mention all the assumptions you have taken for the project. It is important to be clear on the assumptions since they do not represent the actual situation and affect the result of the project. These assumptions may relate to the economic situation, industry-specific environment, or customer behavior.
You must document all the benefits expected from the project and all the costs and expenses involved in making the project a success.
Conclusion On Business Requirement Document
These are the key elements of a business requirements document. You must ensure to include all the elements to create a clear, comprehensive, and organized BRD document that enables you to successfully carry out the project with no hiccups. You can also outsource this task to professional services firms for the surety of obtaining the best copy of a business requirement document template.
We, at Technovisors, provide consulting services to businesses in various sectors regarding the preparation of business requirements documents. Our team has an expert understanding of industry verticals and their businesses to commit to creating the appropriate BRD for your business.
About the Author
(CISA, FCA, CS, DISA (ICAI), FAFP (ICAI))
Pathik is a multi-disciplinary professional with more than 22 years of experience in compliance, risk management, accounting, system audits, IT consultancy, and digital marketing. He has extensive knowledge of Anti-Money Laundering rules and regulations, and he helps companies comply with legal requirements. Pathik also helps companies generate value from their IT investments.