Design and development teams on any project need guidance. Their work is defined by how clear their communications are. The better a manager can communicate to his teams, the better their work turns out to be.
But how does a manager ensure that his brief is detailed with every aspect of the project?
This is where Product Requirement Documentation (PRD) comes in. It builds a bridge between what the managers and clients want and the brief that a team receives. Let’s have a look at what constitutes a PRD.
What is a PRD?
Product Requirement Document, or PRD, is a consolidated brief of the project, containing the details like who will use it, the timelines of the work, and the process to be followed. It is the starting point further dictating the course of action
Why do you need a PRD?
PRD can be helpful in multiple ways. Here are some -
It is an essential starting point, ensuring that all the stakeholders are on the same page. With a product requirement document in place, all the teams, internal and external, are aligned, ensuring a smooth workflow.
Clear, concise communication is possible between all the teams and projects heads with a PRD. With definite directions, checklists, timelines, etc., it helps in-efficient planning. It also consists of resource allotment, ensuring minimum wastage.
What does a PRD include?
The first step is to identify the goals and the users of the project. Identifying the goals can define the basis of your entire project. Goals can be determined in two questions — Why are you doing it, and who are you doing it?
For example, you decide to create a website. The purpose of the website is to connect possible clientele to yoga instructors. This will establish that the website is a B2C website, where the goal is to connect clients to customers for a particular purpose. Secondly, you calculate three types of users for the same — the teachers, the customers, and the backend personnel. Once you determine all your users, you will know which areas to focus which will help build a structure for your PRD and your website.
The next step is to identify all the features that have to be incorporated into the design. Determine all the functional aspects and insert them in an excel sheet point by point. Post this, group them according to modules.
For example, your yoga websites can have features like credentials of all the teachers, asanas taught, another section for registration, etc. You can also add a wishlist column for features you might want to add in the future as a part of your long-term planning.
3. Set goals for release criteria
It is vital to determine a release criteria for the product as it will help you keep track of the progress and make realistic decisions about when to release the product. This can be determined in 2 ways -
a. Creating objective measurements
Creating objective measurement helps you determine how far along your project has come in terms of development. It’ll give you a comparison point from the start of the project.
b. Laying tentative benchmarks in place
With ascertaining benchmarks in place, you can ensure that you’re on track and check the progress of your product.
For example, you know you’re ready to send your client his yoga website when the registration portal is built and the overall structure with different tabs prepared.
One of the essential details added to the PRD is the timeline. Before starting any project, the heads have to comprehend the amount of time it would take to finish it. For this, they need to formulate a timeline, establishing checkpoints to verify whether the progress is happening according to the given timeframe. A timeline also brings all the teams on the same page with expectations about deliverables.
Tools to Prepare Product Requirement Document (PRD)
A team workspace that allows for collaboration and creation, Confluence has been around since 2004 and is a product of Atlassian, a company specializing in creating software for product managers. It is the tested option for preparing PRDs.
A comparatively newer addition, Notion is a note-taking app with customization options. With apps available across tablets, phones, laptops, and a shared workplace option, it is an easy and efficient option.
For designs and development teams, a PRD can change the way they approach a project. It can become the difference between a botched up, inefficient job, and a systematic, time-bound workflow. A good project head knows the importance of issuing clear instructions for his teams, and with a PRD, they can accomplish it!