The requirement documentation acts as a blueprint that outlines the scope, objectives, constraints, and deliverables of the project.
It serves as an important communication tool between stakeholders such as developers, testers, and project managers. However, there are different types of required documentation that can be used depending on the nature and complexity of the project.
In this article, we will explore six types of required documentation that business analysts can use during their requirement analysis process.
Business Requirements Document (BRD)
A Business Requirements Document (BRD) is a comprehensive document that outlines the business needs and objectives for a project. It serves as a communication tool between stakeholders and development teams, providing a detailed description of the requirements for a particular solution. A BRD typically includes sections that describe the business problem that needs to be solved, the scope of the project, and the functional and non-functional requirements for the solution.
Typically, the business analyst constructs the BRD alongside the project sponsor and other stakeholders. It functions as a contract between the business and development teams, outlining the requirements for the solution and laying the groundwork for the development process. To ensure that all parties comprehend the requirements, the document should be clear, concise, and straightforward to read.
The ability of a BRD to ensure that all stakeholders concur on a project’s requirements is one of its primary benefits. It provides a shared understanding of what is required and guides the entire development process. By reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings and poor communication, the BRD can help prevent delays and cost overruns.
Additionally, the BRD can aid in identifying potential hazards and issues that must be resolved during development. By providing a comprehensive overview of the project, the BRD can help reduce the risk of surprises and ensure that the solution meets the business’s objectives.
Functional Requirements Document
Functional requirements are the foundation of any software development project. These requirements define the specific features and functionality that a system must have in order to meet the needs of its users. Functional requirements help developers understand what users want, how they will use the software, and what tasks they need to perform.
Functional requirements typically include a list of tasks or features that are required for the system to work correctly. These tasks may be related to data processing, user interface design, security, or other aspects of software development. In order to ensure that functional requirements are met, developers often create use cases or scenarios that demonstrate how users will interact with the system.
Effective functional requirements documentation is essential for successful software development projects. By clearly defining what a system must do and how it should work, developers can build systems that meet user needs and expectations while avoiding costly mistakes or delays during development.
Non-functional requirements are the criteria that specify how a system should behave, but not what it should do. They define the performance, usability, reliability, and security of a system. Non-functional requirements are critical to measuring the quality of a system since they evaluate parameters such as speed, response time, scalability, and availability. These requirements can be technical or non-technical in nature.
Examples of non-functional requirements include accessibility, maintainability, portability, compatibility with other systems or technologies used by an organization or industry standardization. Non-functional requirements need to be prioritized when developing software since they have significant impacts on overall user satisfaction and operational efficiency. A failure to meet non-functional requirements can result in low adoption rates among users and high maintenance costs for developers.
In summary, documenting non-functional requirements is important to ensure that software meets specific criteria related to its performance and functionality without compromising its usability. Developers must take into account all these types of documentation while creating software that meets user expectations and business needs efficiently.
Use cases are an important part of requirement documentation. They provide a detailed description of how a user interacts with a software system to achieve a specific goal. Use cases usually include a list of steps that the user takes, along with any conditions or exceptions that may arise. By documenting use cases, developers can better understand the requirements of the system and ensure that it meets the needs of its users.
One common way to document use cases is to create diagrams using Unified Modeling Language (UML). These diagrams show the actors involved in each use case, as well as the sequence of events that occurs during each one. They can also be used to identify potential issues or gaps in the system’s functionality.
In addition to helping developers understand requirements, use cases can also be useful for testing and quality assurance purposes. By following each step outlined in a use case, testers can ensure that all aspects of the software are working correctly and meeting user needs. Overall, documenting use cases is an important aspect of creating effective requirement documentation for any software project.
Technical Requirements Document
This document describes the software, Hardware and Platform requirements of the final product. Software requirements state what programming language the system should be developed on, what software will be used to access the system and the type of database. Hardware requirements state the processor speed, memory size, disk space, network configuration and capacity of the application and database servers to be deployed when the system goes live (production environment).
Platform requirements state the constraints on the system’s environment and the limitations on the technology to be employed while building the system. If the system is to be deployed in multiple locations, each location’s hardware and software environment is described. The document lists the limitations to be considered while designing the system architecture.
User stories are a type of requirement documentation that is often used in agile development. They are brief, narrative descriptions of the desired functionality from the perspective of the end-user or customer. User stories help business analysts and development teams to understand what the customer wants to accomplish with their software, and how they intend to use it.
The structure of a user story typically follows a simple template: “As a [user], I want [functionality], so that [goal].” For example, “As a website visitor, I want to be able to search for products by keyword, so that I can quickly find what I’m looking for.” User stories are meant to be short and sweet, usually no more than one or two sentences long. This makes them easy to write and understand.
One advantage of using user stories is that they encourage collaboration between business analysts, developers, and customers. By focusing on what the customer wants instead of just listing technical requirements, everyone involved in the project can work together towards a common goal. Additionally, because user stories are concise and focused on outcomes rather than features or functions, they tend to be easier to prioritize and plan for during requirement analysis.