How to Write an Impressive Business Requirements Document (BRD)

Write an Impressive Business Requirements Document

Have you ever worked whole-heartedly on a project and still failed miserably in the end as the outcomes didn’t match the expectations? 

And did that keep you wondering about what really went wrong? 

Let’s be honest, no business is unfamiliar with this feeling. Such situations are often heart-breaking as all the hard work put to write project documentation comes down to nothing. 

Fortunately, we have found the missing piece of this puzzle and that is a business requirements document. 

Yes, a simple document is all you need to keep your project on the right track from the get-go. It sets a solid groundwork for all project activities, leaving no room for unpredictability or confusion. 

Let’s learn everything there is to know about a business requirements document, its importance, and much more in this comprehensive blog. But before we come to that, let’s explore what exactly are business requirements.

What are Business Requirements? 

Business requirements are defined at the start of a project and show what a company aspires to achieve. These requirements are nothing but business goals, both short-term as well as long-term, that should be accomplished as a project reaches completion. The goals can be anything from creating a brand-new product requirement or launching a marketing campaign to controlling the rising customer churn.  

What’s important to note is that such business requirements should be clearly defined right at the beginning for a smooth-flowing project. 

What is a Business Requirements Document? 

A business requirements document is a centralized space where all your project goals and the necessary details can be recorded. It clearly defines the problems you wish to solve and the outcomes you expect to achieve from the project. Project teams can use this document as a reference to drive their efforts in the right direction and stay aligned with the overall business goals.  

Business requirements documentation guides project members on all facets of the project, so they can make informed decisions at every stage and lead the project towards successful completion. 

Why is a Business Requirements Document Imperative for Your Business? 

Most of you might consider writing business requirements document an added burden. Yes, it can feel overwhelming in the beginning, but once you recognize the results it delivers, you will find it worthy of your time and effort. 

Here are some of the attention-grabbing benefits of a business requirements document:  

1. Provides a Single Source of Truth

This document acts as a one-stop point where business requirements are clearly explained. Project members can refer to the document while working on projects and ensure that they are always moving on the right track. 

2. Brings Clarity to the Process

When you create a business requirements document at the start of a project, it brings greater clarity to the project management process. All stakeholders are aware of their roles and responsibilities, project goals, and expected deliverables from the get-go. 

3. Leaves No Room for Mistakes

As your team works on a project, mistakes are bound to happen. Not anymore, as a business requirements document guides project members at every step, so they can perform their duties with minimum mistakes. 

4. Reduces Uncertainties

With a comprehensive business requirements document, you can bid goodbye to uncertainties and say hello to predictable outcomes. With the problems, goals, and expected solutions clearly defined, you can easily manage risks and get the results you desire. 

What Information Should You Add to Your Business Requirements Document? 

A typical business requirements document not only defines the broader business goals but also drills down into the details necessary for a smooth-running project. All information is presented in a logically-structured format so that it’s easy to consume for your project -teams. 

Here are some of the topics you can add to this document:

✅ Project goals

✅Project scope & context

✅ List of all stakeholders involved 

✅ Constraints & risks involved

✅ Quality standards to be followed

✅ Detailed business requirements

✅ Performance metrics to track project success

These topics packed together make for a comprehensive document that acts as a guiding light for your project teams. 

Read More: How to Create Product Requirements Documentation

Top Tips for Writing an Impressive Business Requirements Document

Now that you have learned about the importance of a business requirements document and what exactly goes into it, here are some impeccable tips and tricks to help you create one for your project. 

Dive in to learn the hacks of writing an impactful business requirements document. 

1. Gather all the Necessary Information

Before you roll up your sleeves and begin working on the document, collecting all the necessary information is crucial. Doing good research, in the beginning, will prevent to and fro during the content creation process. 

For your documentation to be a comprehensive and helpful resource, you need to invest some to identify the information that’s worth including. 

The best way to do this is through brainstorming. Discuss with subject matter experts the goals of the project and the path best suited to achieve them. 

You can also interview your clients to learn about their specific needs and develop a mutually beneficial plan. In addition to this, launching surveys is another great way to gain useful project information from all stakeholders. 

While information gathering is critical to be carried out in the beginning, you should strive to make it a continuous process that happens throughout the project lifecycle

This will ensure that all immediate changes are incorporated into the process, with no scope of missing out on anything important. 

2. Learn from Your Past

Sometimes taking that first step is the hardest part of a process. Want to make morning walks a habit? It’s not the run but the waking up early part that makes it an ordeal for many people. 

Similarly, while you may have everything you need to kickstart the process, you need that initial push to get the ball rolling. So, how do you do that? By going through your past projects and identifying what went right and what didn’t work well. 

A peek into your previous projects will give you valuable insights into:

✅ How specific problems were tackled

✅ What kind of challenges did your team face

✅ How technology was leveraged to fast-track the process

✅ How well did online documentation software work for your previous projects

Such insights keep you well-prepared for your current project and help you take that first step confidently. 

3. Build an Engaging Document With Attractive Visuals 

Do you know the best part about visuals? 

They carry the power to make even the dullest document engaging and interesting for readers. 

When you explain a process in a running paragraph, it’s a big turn-off for readers. Explain it in short steps, and you will see how easily it can be grasped. Now support each step with a relevant image or video, and the results will be far better. Your project members will have full clarity on how a process works, thanks to the compelling visuals.

For example, when you explain the process of how to perform a specific task, such as reviewing the quality of a specific deliverable, complement each step with illustrations or even short videos. Teaching through visuals is a sure-shot way to avoid confusion and keep teams crystal clear about everything. 

Read More: Wow Your Audience with Engaging Help Videos

4. Build a Systematic Review Process 

As articles get written, they should be passed through a strict review process. Subject matter experts and content editors should do an in-depth review of every article before it is published. 

But, what difference does document review make? 

A world of a difference!

Careful review and analysis of everything going into your document means that your content will be free of errors or inaccuracies.

Both minor and major errors can be identified and fixed immediately. A systematic review and approval process also highlights missing information so that it can be added to the articles on time. 

But how do you set up such a rigorous review process? 

It’s simple. The best online documentation software offers stellar features to help you not just write and design but also review the document with absolute ease. 

For example, ProProfs Knowledge Base comes with workflow rules and an approval system that allows you to set a status on every help article. This not only brings transparency in the process, but also makes it easy for editors to carefully review each article and make the necessary changes before it goes for publishing. 

5. Make Your Document Simple & Structured 

Another important thing to note is that your business requirements document should be simple to read and understand. Your project teams should be able to grasp the information with minimal effort.

That is possible when your document is written in simple, jargon-free language and follows a logical structure from the get-go. This keeps misinterpretations and confusions at bay, ensuring that the project members have complete clarity on your business requirements. 

Here are a few hacks to keep your business requirements document format simple and structured: 

✅ Avoid jargon or explain them right where they are used

✅ Use simple language and shorter paragraphs that are easy to digest

✅ Create a table of contents with all necessary topics added to it

✅ Interlink related articles and help readers navigate easily

Simplicity and structure are the two key elements you must add to your business requirements document. 

6. Provide On-the-Go Help With a Mobile-Friendly Document

Since a business requirements document is your project team’s one-stop point for all the information they need, it should be conveniently accessible. 

Whether your project team is working in the office or remotely, accessing the document shouldn’t be a problem. The best way to ease accessibility is by creating a document that works smoothly on mobile devices. 

Mobile phones are fast becoming the most preferred medium for people to get what they need. People have started spending more time on their smartphones every day. This makes it all the more vital for your documentation to be mobile-friendly and offer on-the-go support. 

Your project team should be able to refer to your document conveniently anytime and from anywhere they are. Whether your team members are working from the same office or based out of different locations, working during the day or night, the project should continue unhindered. 

Business Requirements Document Examples & Templates 

It’s now time to kickstart the process and get the ball rolling. 

To start things on the right foot, you first need to opt for the best software documentation tool that comes with ready-to-use documentation templates. Templates are known to make the otherwise cumbersome process of creating content a lot easier. They do most of the heavy lifting in terms of the structure and formatting so that you can be laser-focused on creating good content for your document. 

Given below are business requirements document templates, along with an example of how they work. 

Business Requirement Document Template

Once you have this template, add useful content to each category, include images and videos, and style the document as you see fit. 

Here is an example of a business requirements document created using a template: 

Business requirement template

Ready to Create Your Business Requirements Document? 

We are finally at a stage where we can confidently say that a business requirements document is not that an uphill task as it was supposed to be. In fact, with the best practices mentioned above and the right documentation tool, you can plunge into the process right away. 

When you start writing, remember a few important things, such as: 

✅ The document should be simple and well-structured

✅ It should be mobile-friendly, and most importantly

✅ All articles should be thoroughly reviewed by team members

Following these simple tips will help you take your documentation off the ground real quick. 

All the best!

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About the author

Brayn is a knowledge management expert. He has been published in CustomerThink, PointVisible and Apruve. As a customer support specialist at ProProfs, Brayn has been instrumental in building a robust knowledge base and documents that help support executives keep every customer delighted. You can catch up with Brayn on Twitter and LinkedIn.