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product requirement document

Product Requirements Document: Benefits, Tips & Examples

Product Requirements Document: Benefits, Tips & Examples

Category: Standard Operating Procedures

Last updated on Jul 25, 2022

Your product is the centerpiece of your company. There wouldn’t be any business for you without your product.

While we are consistently making efforts to strive for product excellence, we may not always reach there. This is because product owners fail at the very roots.

You may often build a product based on the basic idea you have for it. Sometimes, you may just run iterations or give feature requests to your product team.

However, you cannot just wing something that forms the crux of your business.

A country’s constitution is essential for its laws and actions. And a product requirements document is necessary for product teams to develop products that gain success.

In this article, let’s talk about what a product requirements document is, tips on how you can write one, and examples as a bonus!

Let’s get started.

What Is a Product Requirements Document?

A product requirements document, or PRD, is a document that outlines the specific features and functionality of a product.

Put another way. You write a PRD to help people comprehend what your product will perform.

The PRD acts as a guide for all subsequent documents in the release. Therefore, it is critical to record all of the product’s required features.

You can use it to communicate with stakeholders, as well as to guide the development process.

To create a successful PRD, it’s essential to understand the product’s goals and target audience.

In the waterfall model, we more typically utilize a PRD. You can, however, use it in an elegant setting as well.

The product requirements document has a long and storied history. It is believed to have originated in the military domain, where the need to capture requirements for complex products was evident.

The PRD then made its way into the commercial realm, becoming an key resource for product development.

The product requirements document plays a critical role in product development. It is the document that captures the product vision and requirements. It is also the document that drives the development process.

developement process in product requirement document

The PRD is essential for ensuring that the developed product meets the customers’ needs.

Importance of a Product Requirements Document.

A product requirements document (PRD) is a critical part of the product development process. 

It articulates the business case for the product, defines the product vision and scope, and outlines the high-level requirements for the product.

product requirement document components

The PRD is essential for aligning the stakeholders on the product vision and ensuring everyone is working towards the same goal. 

It also serves as a reference point for the product team during the development process.

What Are the Benefits of a Product Requirements Document?

There are many benefits to having a well-written PRD, including-

  • Clarifying the product vision and goals.
  • Defining the target market and user requirements.
  • Facilitating alignment among stakeholders.
  • Improving the chances of success for the product.
  • Reducing the risk of scope creep.

If you’re working on a new product, take the time to create a PRD. It will save you time and money in the long run and increase the chances of success for your product.

What Should Your Product Requirements Document Include? 

You must include every explicit capability necessary for the release in the PRD. 

Each desired feature should be accompanied by a use case that demonstrates how a consumer will use the functionality and informs the test plan.

Sub-items could be used for more depth and specificity for technical teams if a feature is complex. When applicable, each sub-items should have its use case.

The PRD should include any extra support in addition to functional ones. 

This consists of any system or environmental requirements (for example, this product must run on iOS) and other usability needs.

The PRD typically contains the following:

Product Overview

When working on a product, it is vital to have a clear and concise product overview. 

This document is typically created by the product manager and outlines the key features and benefits of the product. The product overview should be included in the product requirements document (PRD) and used to help communicate the product vision to the development team.

Goals and Objectives

This section explains why you created this product in the first place. It gives context to the product life cycle and how it fits into your company’s or product’s overall purpose and vision.

Here, attempt to clarify the problem your product is solving. 

User Requirements

User requirements are the foundation of any product or service. Without a clear understanding of what users need and want, it’s impossible to create a successful product.

A PRD (Product Requirements Document) is one of the best ways to capture user requirements. 

To create an effective PRD, it’s essential to understand your target users and their needs clearly. Only then can you accurately capture them in your PRD.

Functional Requirements

Functional requirements can be high-level or detailed, depending on the stage of product development. 

For example, early in the product development cycle, functional requirements might simply state that the product must be able to log in to users and display data. 

But as development progresses, functional requirements might become more specific, detailing how exactly the login process will work and what kind of data will be displayed through mobile app development.

Functional requirements are essential in defining the scope of a project and can be used to create a product roadmap. 

You can also use them to create user stories and help developers understand what they need to build.

Non-functional Requirements

Non-functional requirements, on the other hand, includes things like performance, scalability, and security.

While functional requirements are essential, and you should include them in the PRD, non-functional requirements can often have a more significant impact on the success or failure of a product. 

That’s why it’s vital to ensure that you include non-functional requirements in the product requirements document and give them the attention they deserve.

Assumptions and Dependencies

When writing a PRD, you must be aware of the assumptions and dependencies you’re making. Otherwise, you could end up with a product that doesn’t meet the needs of your users.

Assuming that your users will have a certain level of technological literacy is a common mistake. 

This can lead to a product that is too difficult to use or doesn’t work on all devices. 

Similarly, assuming all  your users have internet access can exclude a large portion of your potential audience.

Be sure to consider how your users interact with your product and its needs. 

By taking the time to consider these things, you can avoid making false assumptions that could prevent your product from being successful.

Release Schedule

In the product requirements document, the release schedule is the list of dates when each version of the product will be released. 

This is important information for stakeholders to know so they can plan accordingly. 

Each release should include new features or improvements, and the schedule should be updated accordingly.

Now that you’ve understood the contents, it’s time to look at an easy product requirements document template. 

Product Requirements Document Template.

If you’re just starting, remember to keep it simple. Don’t get bogged down by the details. 

You can always use the SMART goal-setting framework while making your product requirements document while not making it too complicated. 

So here’s a simple yet efficient product requirements document template you can begin with and gradually scale. 

Heading

Product Team

Stakeholders

Developers

Product Overview

(Common)

(Common)

(Common)

Goals and Objectives

(Common)

(Common)

(Common)

User requirements

(Common)

(Common)

(Common)

Functional requirements

(Common)

(Common)

(Common)

Non-functional requirements

(Common + Unique to role)

(Common + Unique to role)

(Common + Unique to role)

Dependencies

(Common + Unique)

(Common + Unique)

(Common + Unique)

Release Schedule

(Common + Individual)

(Common + Individual)

(Common + Individual)


When in doubt, come back to this PRD template and utilize it. It is wise to use the right tool to document , you can try software documentation tools like Document360  that help with product requirements documentation. 

An intuitive knowledge base software to easily add your content and integrate it with any application. Give Document360 a try!

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Now, you have everything you need. You know the what, the why, and the how. But  there’s still one thing missing. You don’t know the what not and why not. 

Here are some tips you should remember while writing good product requirements documents. 

Tips on How To Write a Good Product Requirements Document.

Now, we know writing a product requirements document sounds daunting after all this. But it doesn’t have to be. 

There are a few things that you will want to keep in mind. 

Following these tips can create a clear, concise, and easy-to-understand document.

1. Keep it Simple

It is crucial to keep the language simple when writing a requirements document.This document is not a place to use jargon or technical language. Instead, use language that everyone on the team can understand.

2. Be Concise

Requirements documents should be short and to the point. There is no need to include lengthy descriptions or long lists of items. Stick to the essentials and be as concise as possible.

3. Be Clear

The requirements document must be clear and easy to understand. You should state each requirement clearly and concisely. Any ambiguity can lead to confusion and errors down the road.

4. Include Examples:

It is a good idea to include examples in the requirements document. This can help clarify the requirements and ensure everyone on the team is on the same page.

5. Get Feedback

Before finalizing the requirements document, getting feedback from the team is crucial. This will ensure that the document is clear and concise and that there are no misunderstandings.

With a little effort, you can create a document that will help ensure your product’s success.

Well, these are some tips based on things you should do.

Let’s also look at some common mistakes you must avoid while writing a PRD:

1. Not Doing Your Research

Before you start writing your PRD, it’s essential to do your research. This includes understanding your target market, your competition, and your product’s unique selling points. Without this research, it will be challenging to write an effective PRD.

2. Trying To Please Everyone

Your PRD should focus on your target market. Trying to please everyone will only make your PRD weaker.

3. Getting Too Technical

You should write your write your PRD in plain English. Avoid using jargon or getting too technical. Remember, your PRD is for stakeholders who may not be familiar with the product or the industry.

4. Making Assumptions

Don’t make assumptions about what your product should do or how it should work. Instead, base your product requirements on customer feedback and market research

5. Being Too Vague

Be as specific as possible when writing your PRD. This will help your team understand the requirements and create a more successful product.

6. Not Getting Stakeholder Feedback

Make sure to get feedback from stakeholders before finalizing your PRD. Their input can help to improve the quality of your document.

By following these tips, you can write a great product requirements document. Be sure to keep it simple, clear, and concise, and get feedback from the team.

Let’s look at a product requirements document example to give you a practical and comprehensive understanding of everything we have discussed.

Example of Excellent Product Requirements Documents.

Here are a few examples of excellent product requirements documents:

The AWS PRD for Container-based Products

This PRD is useful for users who want to know what container-based products are available in AWS, its capabilities,system security requirements,customer information requirements and product usage requirements.

For all container-based products and offerings on AWS Marketplace, the following standards are maintained. These requirements support a reliable, trustworthy, and safe catalogue for our clients. As necessary to satisfy the requirements of their particular items, we also advise sellers to consider the deployment of additional controls and processes.

So, check out the PRD if you want a thorough explanation of AWS container-based Product requirements.

Sample PRD Template

A successful product launch necessitates extensive planning and coordination across multiple departments within the organisation. Because it is such a complex and strategic undertaking, you should create a Product Requirement Document(PRD) for your product launch plan.

The following is a simple PRD created for a new product launch using Document360

product requirement sample template

Amazing products are created by incredible teams, and the most winning teams follow a well-defined strategy. The product requirements document (PRD) is the central hub for your product’s key specifications.

If you’re looking for inspiration for your product requirements document, check out Airbnb and Dropbox.

Whether you’re new at product management or well-established in the field, writing a product requirements document always has its ups and downs.

Using software that can help you avoid human errors and reach your goal of product excellence is always a bright idea. Try it out today and change your product game forever.

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Shakeer Hussain

Jul 22, 2022