The PRD meaning or full form we will be dealing with in this blog is Product Requirements Document. But, what exactly are PRDs? Let's find out.
What is the PRD or Product Requirements Document?
A product requirement document is a doc that informs the maker about all the things required in the product (to build a product). Basically, it tells them what the end product should do. This is put into use when the product definition, design and delivery happen in a sequential way. The agile environment also makes use of the PRD.
PRDs contain everything that the end product must contain. At the same time, the doc doesn't tell how this must be accomplished. Thus, engineers working on the product at a later stage are free to add inputs and modify the product. In this way they can arrive at the optimal solution for building a product.
The point of view of the user is taken into consideration when making the PRD. These requirements are then analysed by technical professionals. The technical professional breaks them down into functional specifications.
What does the Product Requirements Doc (PRD) Contain?
The basic contents of the PRDs are as follows:
- UX flow and design
- Future changes
- Assumptions, Constraints, Dependencies
Let's understand what each of these are.
This tells why the product is being built and what it's supposed to achieve. It explains the customer problem being solved and how it relates with the company vision. So, it establishes a high level purpose for the product.
The release section talks about what will be delivered along with the timeline for it. In this way, the teams can plan their work accordingly.
As is clear, this gives all the features that the product will contain. You'd have to include what is to be built in this. So, a description, use case and the goal would be present in the features section. Any extra details deemed necessary are also included here.
UX flow and design
Again, you might have been able to figure out from the title that the contents of this section would be visual aid. It includes mockups and wireframes that show how the end product will look. This shows the ones working on development what's on your mind.
These mockups and wireframes need not be perfect, however. This is because most organizations finalize the actual designs only after the PRDs are approved. Hence, just a rough visual representation of what the user/client expects is a part of this. It shows how the user will interact with a given functionality.
This suggests how a feature's success will be verified. Meaning, you should document what the feature should do and how you'll come to know if it's done or not. So, something like 'This feature will lead to that result.' Of course, this is a very broad example, but you can modify it for your use case.
This section tells the makers how the product would change over time. They can then keep the future evolution in mind while making the product.
Assumptions, Constraints, Dependencies
Here, the things which could be hindrances to the development are written down. The PRD also contains notes of any things outside of the ones available easily.
The above is an overall idea of what the Product Requirements Document would include. Note that the exact contents would differ based on various factors.
How to write PRDs?
Here's how to write a Product Requirements Document:
- Define the purpose
The team should know what the product is supposed to achieve and should align on this. This would help in creating the features accordingly.
- Define the specifics of the project
Outline who is involved in the project, the status of the work and the release targets
- Write the purpose in terms of features
Determine features which support the main purpose of the product. Align on the themes and initiatives and make sure that the features stated are clear.
- State assumptions and constraints
Any technical or other assumptions and dependencies involved are stated here.
- Set goals for the release
This is for the makers to keep in mind what they are doing with every part of the product. The functionality, usability, reliability, supportability and performance is covered here.
- Set a timeline
The approximate release date for the product. This is set after considering the various constraints.
- Get it reviewed by stakeholders
If required, make changes after this step in the process of making a PRD.
MRD vs PRD meaning
So you know the PRD meaning and various facets about it. But you might have sometimes heard of MRD and wondered if there's a difference between the two. Well, let's understand this.
MRD stands for Market Requirements Document. The product marketing department in an industry handles this. It describes customer demands and market and revenue opportunities. Basically, it deals with the business side of things.
The PRD on the other hand doesn't touch upon the market or business cases. It strictly deals with the product and its functions/ features. Every feature is dealt with separately here. It is meant for the product development team to make the product as needed. Making use of the PRDs, specifications (such as functional specs) and other attributes are created for each item to be implemented.