Business Requirements Document (BRD) – Understanding the basics

By 5th September 2018 Requirements

Business requirements document comes handy when you are looking for a technology service provider, consultant or a contractor to help you with a project. In this article, the key concepts related to BRD and its importance for the success of a project is discussed.

What is a Business Requirements Document (BRD)?

A Business Requirement Document (BRD) focuses on the business perspective as it holds the details of the business solution for a project. Business requirements document also emphasizes on the needs and expectations of the customer. In simpler terms, BRD indicates what the business wants to achieve.  The BRD indicates all the project deliverable and the inputs and outputs associated with each process function.

The process function is responsible for Critical to Quality (CTQs) parameters that relate to needs and wants of the customer. CTQs are responsible for a positive Voice of Customers (VOC). VOC describes the customer’s feedback about their experiences with your products or services. BRD focuses on the business objectives and distinguishes between the business solution and technical solution.

Business requirements document BRD

Objectives of a business requirement document:

  • To get an agreement among stakeholders
  • Communicate to the technology server provider, the business needs, the customer needs, and what the solution needs to do to satisfy business and customer needs
  • To determine the input to the next phase of the project
  • Describe in details of the needs of the customer and business that the solution intends to meet

Difference between BRD & FRD

The Business Requirement Document (BRD) describes the high-level business needs whereas the Functional Requirement Document (FRD) outlines the functions required to fulfill the business need.  BRD answers the question what the business wants to do whereas the FRD gives an answer to how should it be done. FRD is derived from a BRD.

Business Requirements Document- Key elements

A business analyst or a project manager who has a thorough understanding of the business processes drafts business requirement document. The business requirement document is drafted for a project to ensure the implementation of all the requirements to achieve business objectives.

The most critical component of a business requirement document is the scope of the project along with the restrictions and constraints. The scope comprises of three key things:

  • What are the problems which the business wants to solve?
  • What are the restrictions?
  • Is it worth to invest the time and money required for the project?

Business Requirement Document- An ideal template

The ideal business requirement document should have the following components:

 A summary statement

The executive summary is the outline of the requirements of the project. The best time to formulate a summary statement is once the BRD is written completely.

Project objectives

The project objectives should be written in a SMART format which implicates they must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.

Needs statement

The needs statement outlines why the project is needed for the business and how the project will be able to meet the needs.

Project scope

The project scope outlines what to be included and what should not be included.

Financial statements

The financial statements indicate the impact of the project on the company’s balance sheet and revenue over the specific period of time. This also holds the information on the funding of the project and how it would be done.

Functional requirements

This section outlines in a detailed manner the functional requirements and corresponding features including diagrams, charts, and timelines.

Personal needs

This section covers the human resources aspect of the project. Who needs to be hired and when the hiring needs to be done. It also covers the cost of the resources.

Schedule, timeline & deadlines

Each phase of the project is covered in detail in this section.  This helps to ensure that all stakeholders are aware of what is required and when it will be required.

Assumptions

The assumptions outline anticipated events that would occur during the course of the project.

Cost & Benefit

This section holds a detailed list of all the costs involved in the project along with the cost-benefit analysis.  The savings from the project are also listed here.

Summary

Business Requirement Document will help you throughout the project lifecycle to keep the deliverable in line with the business and customer needs.

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