Lumiform Mobile audits & inspections
Get App Get App

How To Write A Well-Thought-Out Business Requirements Document

A good plan is the foundation of any successful project, without it the chances of success are slim. With a digital business requirements document, you can effectively lay out your project requirements and gear your business for success.

What Is a Business Requirements Document?

Starting a project or business is no easy feat. It requires extensive plans and proper execution to get it off the ground. In fact, according to a survey by the Project Manage Institute, over 11.4% of investment is lost because of poor organizational performance. This is simply because the absence of a well-thought-out plan can result in a lack of proper direction and problem-solving that leads to wrong decisions.

Here is where a business requirements document (BRD) comes into play. It’s a document that essentially outlines the requirements and objectives that a project needs to meet and describes the problems that should be solved. It sets the direction of the project and serves as the foundation of the overall plans. Through a BRD, all facets are reviewed and expectations are laid out allowing every member and stakeholder of the organization to be on the same page.

A good business requirements document sample is one that is complete and self-explanatory. It should eliminate guesswork and clearly convey appropriate information that is needed to ensure the project remains true to its objectives and is continually geared toward success. When developed well, it offers the following benefits:

  • It decreases the chances of failure caused by misaligned requirements.
  • It bridges business goals with project health and direction.
  • It fosters harmony and collaboration between stakeholders and team members by making expectations transparent.
  • It cuts down additional expenses potentially incurred through change requests, training, and infrastructure.

Furthermore, it also serves as a basic agreement between the client and vendor defining all expectations and requirements for the project. Thus, it serves as the standard for identifying when the project has been completed.

This article covers the following topics:

1. What are the parts of a BRD?

2. What are the best practices to writing a business requirements document?

3. What are the advantages of a digital business requirements document?

Group of people doing a business requirements document

What Are the Parts of a BRD?

In writing a good business requirements document, there are ten essential elements that should be included:

  1. Executive Summary: Despite the fact that this is found in the first part of the document, the executive summary should be written last. This is where your project requirements are found along with a summary of the content of your BRD.
  2. Objectives: This section should comprehensively describe your goals and objectives, and describe the outcome to be achieved.
  3. Need Statement: The portion of the RBD that indicates why the project is essential to the business. It should provide clear explanations and rationale that can help cast the vision to stakeholders and team members to win their support and build a good rapport.
  4. Scope of the Project: Identifying the scope is essential to define the parameters and standards that the project can operate. This is helpful in exerting all efforts within a direction that’s aligned with business goals.
  5. Financial Statements: The process and means as to how the project will be funded should be included here alongside an overview of the estimated impact it will have on the business and revenues it will generate.
  6. Functional Requirements: Once you finish your meeting with stakeholders and everything is agreed upon, this is the part where you summarize all the project’s requirements. This is a high-level requirement that should include the what, how, when, and where of each point.
  7. Key Stakeholders: You should identify the stakeholders and their individual roles and responsibilities.
  8. Timeline and Milestone Deadlines: The schedule of the project should be detailed according to its phases — including a comprehensive list of their respective requirements and deadlines. Specific milestones should also have timelines and should account for dependencies and unplanned challenges that may be encountered.
  9. Cost-Benefit Analysis: This is where the costs and expected benefits are evaluated to project your ROI.
  10. Expectations and Assumptions: Change in the business climate, interest rate, or any factor beyond control that may significantly affect the outcome of the project should be indicated in this section.

Woman with blue blazer smiling

What Are the Best Practices to Writing a Business Requirements Doucment?

A business requirements document is one of the most useful tools for managers during project implementation. However, it can be intimidating and can seem like a daunting task, but it is actually manageable when done systematically. To help you manage better, here are four tips you can follow when coming up with a BRD.

1. Begin by Reviewing Previously Successful Projects

Before getting started on anything, it’s best to acquaint yourself with a well-written business requirements document example. You can do this by taking a look at several successful projects from before and studying how they did it.

Some elements that you should specifically pay attention to are:

  1. The things that worked well and those that didn’t
  2. Challenges encountered and solutions implemented
  3. Dependencies that affected the project
  4. The type of elicitation methods utilized to gather requirements

2. Gather Your Requirements

The main point of a BRD is to capture project requirements to set the direction, without these it won’t be possible to develop a good business requirements document. Your requirements can range from high-level to technical depending on your stakeholders and business objectives.

According to the International Institute of Business Analysis BABOK® Guide, there are nine common elicitation methods used to gather requirements. You can choose the method that suits your needs best.

  1. Brainstorming
  2. Document analysis
  3. Focus groups
  4. Interface analysis
  5. Interviews
  6. Observation
  7. Prototyping
  8. Requirements workshops
  9. Surveys/questionnaires

3. Use Data Visualization to Make Your Content Easy to Read

Visualizing your data can make your message more effective and powerful. Through the use of charts, graphs, and maps, you can simplify huge chunks of information and increase the effectiveness of your BRD. An example of this is by mapping out your present and future business processes, then showing them side-by-side to easily communicate your requirements. This will help your stakeholders see the trends and patterns instantly.

4. Make Sure to Validate Your Content

Once you’re done drafting your BRD, the final step is to have your stakeholders review the content and validate it. Doing so will allow you to make sure that you’ve captured the requirements accurately, listed all the assumptions and expectations correctly, and corrected any potential errors.

What Are the Advantages of a Digital Business Requirements Document?

With a powerful digital checklist for business requirements, you can easily carry out checks via tablet or smartphone – online or offline. A digital checklist guides you step by step through the BRD without omitting important criteria.

Using the desktop version, you can create templates that match your standards and then evaluate the collected data. Clean and transparent documentation saves you a lot of time. In addition, you benefit from further advantages with Lumiform app:

  • The flexible form builder from Lumiform helps you to convert any individual paper list into a digital checklist without much effort.
  • All results, images and comments are automatically bundled in a digital report.
  • Comprehensive analyses help you to identify inefficient areas in your company more quickly and thus to continuously improve your auditing and inspection processes.

Try Lumiform for free

people holding hand
Share this content:

Your contact for all questions concerning Business Requirements Document

You have questions or would like to schedule a personal demo? We are happy to help you!