So What is a Business Requirements Document?

Updated: Apr 9, 2020

Have you ever had an experience when you thought "how did they miss that detail?!"

One of my favorite craft stores launched an app, it seems like years ago now. A key aspect to the app was the ability to get coupons to use in store. The day the app launched the stores could not process coupons from the app. How could a company miss such an obvious function?

If you are not a Business Analyst or if you haven't studied business a BRD sounds like a mish-mash of words. Simply put, a Business Requirements Document is a detailed plan to implement change. A BRD is created once a plan of action is determined through a Business Case. A BRD also provides the business with a written record of the steps taken to implement the chosen recommendation.

Let's take our example from earlier. The craft company, hopefully with the aid of a business case, determined launching an app for the store was a good choice. The next step should have been detailing all the steps necessary to make the launch successful. I am making the assumption the Craft Company did not communicate all the necessary requirements to the group who created the app. It seems like an obvious function the coupon barcode on the app needs to be read by the register. However, if the people involved with the project are from two different companies, the craft company and the app company, neither one may fully understand the needs of the other. This situation is where a Business Analyst is beneficial.

The BA works to understand both companies processes to ensure all details are fully realized. The BA will do this by asking questions and doing research on what each side needs to make the project successful. When you do not have a key person in the role of the BA the job falls on everybody's shoulder. The consequence is no one completes the job and key details are missed. Key questions here are did the app company test the app coupons with the register system? Did the app company talk to anyone who manages the register system? It is possible they did but without testing on a live system bugs would not have been worked out. Did the craft company fully detail and model the process flow of how the app coupon fits into the payment process? Did the craft company detail how the coupon barcode on the app would be different from the paper coupons? Did the craft company share this information with the people who input coupon codes for the register system? A simple change in the barcode could also have led to an issue with the register system not recognizing it.

If you are a small business, it actually can be easier to complete projects and NOT miss the key details by hiring a BA and Consultant, or hire me and I can complete both roles. Between you and the BA less people are involved and fewer middle-men on any given project; compared to large corporations who have many hands in the pot. By hiring a BA a small business is giving themselves a better chance of long-lasting success. When I write my Business Requirements Document everyone involved with the project can see the document being created. Input from the parties is welcomed to ensure all details are met and everyone understands how the project will come together. The benefit to being a small business, is we can implement as we go. We don't need to wait for the document to fully complete for some aspects of the project to be implemented. I create a plan of how to move forward with your chosen recommendation option and together we take your business to the next level by completing the Business Requirements Document.

If you are curious to see if I can help your business, go to the website and click on "Book a Consultation". It's a free, no obligation, meeting to determine how I can help your business achieve a new level of growth. Check out for more information.

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