Mobile App Development

How To Write A Mobile App Product Requirements Document

  • Published on : October 21, 2022

  • Read Time : 18 min

  • Views : 2.5k

How To Write A Mobile App Product Requirements Document

A well-defined product requirement document is the essence of a traditional project management team to deliver a successful digital solution. Interestingly, almost 70% of the projects face failure due to negligence in preparing the precise software requirement specifications document. Considering this figure, without a doubt we can deduce that the successful deployment of any project begins with a well-planned product requirements document.

Hence, to develop a successful and compelling project, understanding the project’s requirements is the key. And being an entrepreneur, possessing the knowledge of how a mobile app product requirement document can be prepared will give you a big picture of your project.

This blog will introduce you to the PRD concept and further details about it, such as types, processes, characteristics, and other details to draft an impactful outline for your mobile app development or web development.

What is a Product Requirements Document?

A Project Requirement Document is a compilation of the proposed project’s purpose, specifications, features, functionalities and behaviour of the working project. The document covers all the different aspects of the digital project from the initial phase to deployment.

In simple words, a PRD defines ‘how you are going to build the project’ and ‘what you are going to build’.

The PRD can be referred to at any stage of mobile app development. This document can also be used to represent it to the stakeholders and investors while demonstrating the detailing of your proposed project, it includes an Android and iOS app or a website.

It is a detailed blueprint, which guides all the departments involved in building the project to maintain the project stability and get the desired end product. All these details mentioned in the software product requirements document helps to ensure that no blind spot is left.

Why a Mobile App Product Requirement Document is Needed?

Every software or project development is carried out to propose a solution to a problem. But, concluding at a solution and framing the problem in the right manner is the key aspect that needs to be comprehended before moving ahead.

Though these queries can be answered easily when you follow to frame the accurate answer for the 4 W’s, i.e. What, Why, Who and When. To answer all these questions the PRD document is prepared, which provides detailed information about the product and makes it easily understandable to any individual. Let’s get into further detail.

1. “What” you are building?

This is the first and foremost question that needed to be answered, it will communicate your idea accurately and make it easy for tech and non-tech individuals to understand your project’s vision. Initially, these details will communicate the core functionalities of the product that you are aiming to develop.

Further, the research work is carried out and other team experts are involved in it, then the product details get matured. It includes the introduction of varied micro-services and their dependencies, API integration and other tech details that the project requires.

2. “Why” you are building it?

The question, why you are building a product should always be accompanied with, what are your project development aspects.

A definite and guided answer to this question will let your counterparts and team members have a unique experience, get an additional revenue stream, and identify your project’s goals accurately.

3. “Who” is your target audience?

The target audience of every product varies based on the project idea and solution it is offering to the end-users. Evidently, the common project ideas cover a wider customer base, whereas some exceptional and unusual ideas are only exposed to a niche.

Hence, develop the project while keeping the target audience in the mind, such that the product is usable for them. This will define the success of your proposed project.

4. “When” do you need the project?

To develop a project, preparing a software product requirements document is the critical step to initiate the project development.

Documenting all the specifics and dependencies of the project will help to prepare an efficient product roadmap, and assign modules priority – all these details allow every team member to understand their role and tasks with the timeline. As PRDs also include the tentative launch date of your product.

Collecting all these details is a complicated and time taking process, but the effective and accurate answers to all these questions will help to prepare a detailed PRD. This will enable the development team to organize each phase precisely and build quality and timely end-product.

Types of Product Requirement Documents

Types of Product Requirement Documents

1. Business Requirements Document (BRD)

A Business Requirements Document (BRD), is a detailed report that comprises of project’s needs and requirements, the purpose of proposing the idea, what solution you are presenting with it, its features and functionalities, and other details along with the expected project timeline.

However, to define all these requirements, a lot of research work is carried out to map out the overall structure, limitations, and other details of the project, before starting any work on the project. As a result, the BRD infuses clarity, holds attention and removes ambiguity in the project’s requirements.

2. Customer Requirements Document

The Customer Requirements Document is a detailed document that defines what the software or system needs to do while considering the customer/end-user perspective. The document is written in layman’s language, no technical or complicated terms are used to demonstrate the user’s point of view.

Thus, a well-written customer requirement document should be clear, concise yet well explained, and unambiguous. These details help designers and developers to understand your requirements, and can also define the deadline, estimated budget and other details.

3. Software Requirements Document or Software Requirements Specification (SRS)

An SRS is a document prepared for the proposed project, which held project details, such as requirements, expectations, and standards. These details can be arranged in the form of spreadsheets, text documents, schemes and other required elements to present the product’s requirements and vision in a much easy manner.

In simple terms, a Software Requirement Document provides a detailed project description of how a project is visualized to work and how the development team should implement the entire development flow. A good SRS defines consistent details, correct information, a hierarchy of operations, verifiable and modifiable details, etc.

4. Quality Requirements Document

A quality requirements document demonstrates the project’s quality and the capability that must be present in the end product. The quality documents are submitted to the Project Manager to analyze the project’s feasibility and outline the quality control plan prior to project commencement.

A Quality requirements document comprises multiple factors, criteria, and benchmarks that must be fulfilled. It includes consistency, reliability, usability, availability, maintenance, and customer experience. Generally, a Quality Requirements Document is written by a business analyst or a project manager.

5. Technical Requirements Document (TRD)

Software development is a process that follows a systematic approach to transform the required specifications into effective and accurate codes. The TRD report comprises of defined purpose, proposed functionalities, implementation, and operations performed by the features that developers have to manage.

A TRD document provides clarity in project development and structure to handle and manage the problems/operations. Overall, a technical requirements document is no less than an organized flow that proposes a foundation for further processes.

6. Market Requirements Document (MRD)

A Market Requirement Document (MRD) is a document that is written to define overall market opportunities a mobile app product can experience and explore. The document represents the market size, target market and competitors in the local and global markets.

MRD is usually a strategic document that is compiled by the product marketing manager or sometimes the product manager to define all the initial and basic requirements to kick-start the project. The document also defines the revenue opportunities and features list along with categories.

7. Functional Requirements Document (FRD)

A Functional Requirements Document is a formal and written detailing of the mobile app requirements specified to achieve business goals. It is a form of formal contract which ensures the client agreement and keeps the technology team on the same page to make them aware of all the do’s and don’ts.

The major purpose of preparing an FRD is to bridge the gap between the business and technologies – define the requirements and functional solutions directed to the mobile app product development. It is usually prepared by the technical team after going through the BRD and SRS documents.

8. User Interface Requirements Document (UIRD)

A User Interface Requirements Document focuses on preparing and anticipating the prospective audience and target customers might need. The document is prepared after detailed research which ensures that the user interface have elements that are easily accessible, understandable and facilitate suitable actions.

A detailed UIRD makes it easier to build the app or website because it provides a guided and detailed view of the proposed product to developers in a simple and easily understandable language. This helps them to anticipate where the issue or error may arise. The document is prepared by the UI designing team after analyzing the project’s idea and detailed specifics.

What are the Key Points of the Software Product Requirements Document?

1. Goal & Objective

To design a product requirement document for a mobile app, the first and foremost step is to clearly define and identify the goals and objectives. This can only be possible once the development company accurately understands the business idea which will help them to propose an effective set of functions for the expected digital solution.

2. User Personas and Stories

Defining a user persona and hypothetical stories helps to determine how the right audience and target users can engage with the product. Google Analytics can also be used to create user personas. Using all the basic details to analyze the user and the buyers helps to align and market your product/services in order to yield better results.

3. Functional & Non-Functional Requirements

The mobile app development should include a detailed product requirements document (the types of mobile app product requirement documents are explained above). The functional description should be followed by non-functional app requirements, such as app security, device compatibility, performance, multi-language support, etc.

4. Wireframe & Design

In this stage, the design expectation for the mobile app development can be presented in the form of wireframes and mockups. Additionally, further details and specifications can be documented in the User Interface Requirement Document which helps in designing the product by following more creativity and the suggested ideas. The wireframes and mockups work as a blueprint to present where the expected features will fit on the page and other details.

5. Sitemap

The documentation of the sitemap presents the complete list of all the pages or screens that are required for the app/website to run smoothly. Apart from that, these pages are arranged sequentially to demonstrate easy navigation. This arrangement of screens ensures that the screens are linked in such a way as to present a meaningful process.

6. Technical Specifications

The detailed description of the technologies and technical elements that can be used to build the project that best depicts the client’s expectations. Choosing the right tech stack can be the basic building block of an app or web. Some of the popular tech stacks that developers commonly prefer are MEAN (MongoDB, Express.JS, Angular.JS & Node.JS), MERN (MongoDB, Express.JS, React & Node.JS), LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL & PHP) and MEVN (MongoDB, Express.JS, Vue.JS & Node.JS).

7. Assumptions, Constraints, and Dependencies

The requirements and expectations of a product’s success are usually put under assumptions. A successful product is defined under multiple factors, it includes expertise and experience in the target market as well as niche market knowledge. The presumption in the mobile app product requirement document assembling comprises assumptions about the user, business, and technical resources.

 

Ways to Develop and Manage Product Requirements

Here are some of the ways that can guide you to effectively develop and manage mobile app product requirements;

1. Implement Usage of Requirement Management Tools

To deliver a project within or before the assigned deadline, it is suggested to implement the usage of requirement management tools and collaborative project management software. These tools can help your business to store and share valuable details that must be needed for developing and managing the mobile app product requirements document.

2. Define A Process for Requirement Changes

A project development process normally undergoes requirement changes or unexpected requirement changes. To handle and cope with such planned or unplanned changes in the project – defining the mutually deduced developing steps to implement required changes could be an intelligent call. It will help to eliminate any last-minute mismanagement and panic mode in the team.

3. Implement a Risk Analysis

Being an intelligent team, you can predict, plan and be ready to deal with any unforeseen situation or any potential issue. All this can be handled and planned in advance by implementing a risk analysis study and defining a possible measure that can be instantly followed by the assigned team members if such issues arise.

 

Characteristics of a Quality Mobile App Product Requirements Document

A mobile app product requirements document can turn out to be an incredibly effective tool if it possesses specific features and qualities, as mentioned below. The mobile app scope document can be a very helpful and guiding tool for all the team members, thus it should be designed very intelligently and in a well-researched form.

  1. Specific Qualities- The project’s requirements need to be outlined before getting into the project design & development phase. Aim to extract details from clients which depict their purpose, projects goal and other details or qualities. However, keep it simple and crisp, so that the concerned person can get the overview and required information on the respective issue.
  1. Complete- Ensure to provide well-organized and quite detailed information about each functional specification for developers. It will help them to learn details and implement specifics accurately. In contrast to that, if you are not having enough details about any element, then mark it as ‘TBD’ (to be determined) and take follow up periodically.
  1. Feasible- The PRD must be designed after analyzing the project’s requirements and platforms (Android, iOS or hybrid), along with the existing team’s efficiency, capability, time and budget. Such detailed study, helps organizations to analyze their team and the target, such that it is attainable and useful in achieving their goals.
  1. Prioritize- Setting the hierarchy of each element, functionality and module is very important and much needed for the development team to plan their task, as well as the client too to get the basic working version of the project in a minimum set timeline. The ranking of all the functional and user requirements operations will fasten and align the development approach.
  1. Unambiguous- The mobile app scope document in the initial phase is prepared to avoid miscommunication and confusion at the last moment. Therefore, it is highly recommended to document every requirement, so that in the end, both expected and delivered results match each other.

Conclusion

The sole agenda of preparing a mobile app product requirements document is to present a guided track to develop a quality and successful product. Thus, be sure to mention all the requirements of your business, including functional and non-functional requirements, technical dependencies, assumptions, and restrictions as well. It will maintain a record of every operation, decision, change/update, and client’s expectations.

The PRDs can be an easy and convenient way to introduce updates and suggestions that enable team members to easily understand the requirements and work over them parallelly with the ongoing development process..

So, if you are aiming for mobile app development but experiencing a hard time preparing a well-defined PRD to interact with your development team, reach out to us, and we will gladly assist you with your issues.

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