What is a Product Requirements Document?

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Product Requirements Document

What is a Product Requirements Document?

Product Requirements Document Definition

“A product requirements document is a detailed description of everything you need to know about the building of your product.

This document includes the product’s purpose, functionality, use case, and the time that you will need to complete the product. To sum up, a PRD will have the team’s vision for the product.

A product requirements document (PRD) defines the detailed outline of a product, its requirements, purpose, features, and functionalities.

In simpler terms, you write a PRD to allow people to understand what your product intends to do.

The PRD serves as a reference for all the future documents in the release. It plays a crucial role in recording all the features required in the product. 

A PRD is more commonly used in the waterfall development model. However, you can also use it in an agile environment. 

How To Create a Product Requirements Document?

Before we begin with the steps, it is necessary to know that writing a PRD is an effort of an entire team, including stakeholders

The main answer you want to get out of the PRD is knowing what you are planning to build. That does not include the steps as to how you will go about making the product.

A product and feature release can succeed if you follow the five steps below to write a product requirements document.

Plan the Purpose of Your Product

The development team members and the stakeholders must be aware of the purpose of your product. It would be best to align your product purpose with the features. 

You must know answers to the following questions such as:

  • What is the problem that your product will try to solve?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Why is your product unique in the market?

Determine the Requirements of the Features

Keep in mind that your features support the product’s purpose.

To begin setting the requirements of the features, you can focus on defining them.

  • Themes

Examples of themes could be performance, mobile, and API.

  • Initiatives

Having initiatives defined will guide you to know that you are on the right track. You can break an initiative into the requirements of your features. It also includes various themes.

Setting Release Goals

You can quickly achieve the purpose of your product if you set clear release criteria goals.

Setting your goals in a SMART way will make things organized and achievable.

Your release criteria must have the following five categories:

  • Define functionality
  • Easy usability
  • Product reliability
  • Performance criteria
  • Supporting release

Setting Timelines

Setting timelines for your product releases will help you in the long run.  

Even if you set the release date roughly, it’s alright. But have flexible space to move things up and down when priorities arise.

Know that stakeholders can add only limited features. Also, the whole process of setting release dates can be tricky. 

Getting Product Requirements Document Reviewed by Stakeholders

Stakeholders must check your product requirements document. 

Managing requirements while using the Microsoft document is challenging. 

That is why it is crucial to have a solution where you can easily manage requirements reviews online. 

This way, you can check the document that is updated. Every team member from the development team, managers, quality testers must know what the PRD includes. 

What Goes Into the Product Requirements Document (PRD)?

Things Goes Into the Product Requirements Document

You must include the following pointers in your PRD:

Objectives

Setting objectives will help you determine what product the team is planning on building. 

Having goals will allow the development teams to understand:

  • Purpose of the product
  • Features of the product
  • The functionality of the product

Having an exhaustive list of objectives can become too challenging. It is necessary to center on the MVP (minimum viable product).

Always your must-haves set. You can use the following pointers to know your must-haves.

  • The vision of the product
  • Ways your product will solve the problems
  • Products purpose

Target Audiences

You can create individuals hypothetically. Doing this will help you to know the following:  

  • What your target audience will use your product for?
  • When will your users use your product?
  • What are the different ways your customers can access your product?

You can make use of Google analytics to make your target users.

User Stories

A user story is the voice of your audience. User stories are described in the form of short essays wherein the features are written from the user’s point of view.

Teams can use user stories to understand the requirements. 

Technicalities

This part of your PRD will have detailed information about the capability of your product. Developers are better able to understand the functionalities of your product when you describe them in detail.

Wireframes

Wireframes are a visual representation of your product on paper. 

It’s a blueprint that can help you eliminate certain unnecessary features.

Dependencies

Managing the dependencies of your products is a must. While releasing your product, make sure it doesn’t get in the way of the other already existing products.  

Tracking Metrics

When you track metrics, you get answers to the following questions:

  • Is your product profitable in the market?
  • Are the features you have put in actually doing any good?
  • How many customers are using the newly introduced features?

Your product requirements document must mention the following: 

  • The quantitative metrics you are going to track
  • The ways you are going to track these metrics
  • Determine the success criteria of your product

Criteria for Release

Have set criteria that your product should meet before opening it for the general public.

As mentioned earlier, all internal stakeholders must check this release criteria. 

What Are Product Requirements Document’s Examples?

Let’s assume that we build an app that will provide a cab service.

Purpose of the Product:

The service will be an easy and affordable option for all.

The Problem This App Will Tackle:

Customers can book and take a cab from anywhere. It isn’t mandatory for everyone to have a vehicle.

Change in the Process:

The app eliminates the manual work of calling the cab driver. This app will do all of that and more within an instant click.

The Vision of the Product:

Easily accessible services for everyone, especially for students

User Personas:

Name: XYZ

Occupation: Service 

Other Details:

Interests will include languages learned, hobbies, and so on.

Commuting challenges could be that the office is situated far away from home. 

You will also include design, follow-up tasks, and timeline. 

Product Requirements Document vs. Functional Specifications

A product requirements document will include the vision of the product and features. This document will have all the requirements from the customer’s perspective. 

On the other hand, the functional specification includes requirements that the engineering teams need to know. 

A functional requirements document (FRD) is a technical response the teams give to the features and other functions that came down from the PRD.

 It is in the functional specification where the business will collaborate with the technology.

In FRD, the translation of the technicalities takes place for the first time after PRD so that the design and test teams can understand the requirements. 

Functional requirements will include workflows, data migration, data integration, and other security requirements.

A PRD has an end-user requirement, and a functional specification includes what the internal team must do. 

FAQs

Why is a PRD required?

A Product requirements documents essentially outlines the whole purpose of your product, the target audience for your product, how to use it, and many other intricate details regarding the same.

Having a good PRD beforehand can act as a good starting point for any product.

What is the difference between the market requirements document (MRD) and the product requirements document (PRD)?

MRD describes the opportunities and the requirements in the current market, whereas a PRD is related much more to the product, purpose, needs, and essentials.

What comes before a product requirements document?

Before you prepare a PRD, you must create an MRD. Doing this will help you gather information on your customers’ needs and their demands for the products.

This way, you will have all the necessary data before defining the requirements.

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