Business Requirements Document: An Overview

Business Requirements Document (BRD)

BRD-documentBRD, an acronym of Business Requirements Document is widely accepted structured document for project requirements which defines what should be delivered in order to gain value in the project. This document is designed to assist with the project management and the implementation during the entire life cycle of the project. Business requirements are consist of both functional and non-functional requirements which lead to creation or update of product, system or a software. BRD mainly emphasize on what should be the end result and it doesn’t bother how the objective is achieved.

There are many variants of BRD known to people like SRS (System Requirement Specification) or SRD (System Requirement Document) and FSD (Functional Specification Document). BRD can be described as a mode of communication in completion of a project. The main objectives of a BRD are as below:

 

  1. It should be simple and all the involved stakeholders should agree to it.
  2. It should contain more business requirements rather than technical requirements, as the main motto of a BRD is what to achieve and not how to achieve.
  3. It should describe the business needs in clear and concise manner.
  4. It should have a logical flow and can be used as an input for next phase of the project.

The purpose of a BRD is to describe the end solution to the business requirement and what steps should be followed in order to satisfy those needs. The BRD should refer to the details of the existing business state and what the business owners are planning to change in the future. Since BRD can be used as a base in the development of any project, it should involve different stakeholders and all of them should be agreed at common points before kick-off of the project. The possible stakeholders involved in the development of a BRD are:

  • Business owner representative
  • Development team representative
  • Subject Matter Expert
  • Maintenance team representative

Each of the above stakeholders should share their views and are given roles as per the RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed) matrix at the time of document designing and the same should be followed throughout the project life-cycle.

BRD development is a team work and thus it should be clearly defined in the beginning that who should be in the team and what work should be assigned to them. Nobody is perfect in his work, so all the strengths and limitations should be described before the project kick-off. There is no space for business assumptions in future so all the assumptions and constraints should be well defined and discussed in the BRD.

There are certain prerequisites which should be cleared before designing BRD; some bullet points are as below:

  1. All the stakeholders (or project team) with designation should be defined and described well to everyone.
  2.  Current environment assessment should be done which includes the following
    • How business operates currently and what changes are to be done in the future scope
    • Start and end point of the processes followed in the organization
    • Baseline information of the project
    • Risk assessment
  3. Current performance acceptance parameters with all the variations and tolerance
  4. Support guidelines followed by business currently.

As mentioned previously, BRD should have a logical flow and easy to understand. The most acceptable contents of a BRD are as below:

  • Objective of the project
  • Current business state, environment and system assessment
  • Business changes to be done
  • Process detail and stakeholders(with RACI) details
  • Accepted assumptions and constraints in the project
  • Impact(or Risk) Analysis
  • Functional Requirements
  • Non-functional Requirements
  • Schedule and Budget (optional when BRD is shared with technical team)
  • Terms and Conditions (Legal information)

Finally the document should contain the the business partner sign-off with the details of the review, comments and signature of the business partners.

 

Happy Learning!!!!

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