One of the initial steps to developing a product is creating its product requirements document (PRD). Since it acts as a guide for everyone involved in the development process, including all stakeholders from the shareholders of the business to the developers, it’s of critical importance. Before writing a good PRD, various factors are to be considered, such as its component, recommended length and time, and its overall business goals.
What are the Key Components of a PRD?
The introduction in any PRD should provide a detailed background of the product that needs to be developed. This section should answer all the questions that shareholders will most probably have. This includes why the product is being designed and developed, its intended audience, and the main issues that this product solves. To answer the functionality question, the introduction should also list the features that the future product will have, and equally as necessary, the features not to be implemented. This ensures that everyone involved in the process is evident on the exact product specifications, and the expectations are set to guarantee a solid foundation is built.
Before any product is developed, there needs to be extensive research conducted to identify and outline the needs and requirements of customers within their industry. The market research phase identifies market trends, its current state, and any existing gaps that pave the way to introducing an innovative product to the market to gain a competitive edge. When a brief detailing such findings is included in the PRD, all the individuals involved in the development stages know what guidelines to adhere to, while providing a good measure of tracking product effectiveness and success after completion. It’s also beneficial when it comes to evaluating if it satisfied the business need and whether or not it gave a competitive edge as required.
Future Product Features
One of the most critical factors when developing software, as discussed before through our blog post, Tips to Choose the Right Custom Software Development Company, is the factor of scalability and flexibility. Business goals and needs are continuously changing relative to market trends and industry changes. This, in turn, requires products to be flexible and scalable to accommodate any future changes, or else they become obsolete. Communicating this factor in a PRD is essential when setting the product’s foundation to allow for unforeseen changes to be successfully accommodated.
Strategic Fit and Time Frame
It is essential to define the designated deadline for everyone in the design and development team so that appropriate measures can be taken, and product release dates can be adhered to. Setting goals without a strategy is pointless, and when each and every member of the development staff know their duties and deadlines, it makes achieving the primary goals doable. The PRD should also provide an outline of how this product will strategically fit into the business and how it assists in improving the overall performance and achievement of business goals.
User Stories and Testing
Any PRD will include content intended for stakeholders from both the business side and the design and implementation side. Among the components included in the PRD that will be of importance to any development team is the user stories section. This will outline the essential functions that will be used by future customers of the product upon its release in the market. It is also necessary that the testing that needs to be completed before launch be listed, as well as the necessary support that will be required in the future.
The central idea behind creating a PRD is to ensure a mutual understanding between all the individuals involved in the development of a new product. It provides a clear sense of orientation & direction and acts as a useful reference throughout the development process. It also allows everyone to stay on track as it defines the product and its exact features & functionalities. Finally, it also shows the priority of each task to ensure effective workflow and an overall successful product.