A good Product Requirements Document (PRD) defines the purpose and features of a product: the overall vision of your build, product goals and the features required to achieve each goal, details about how an end user will interact with your build and how it will appear to them. With today’s agile development, features are added to the backlog and prioritized. Do not get specific in your PRD: for example, don’t specify any languages to be used. You will have engineers for that – let them decide. The Agile way – adaptability is vital and defining such things in a PRD sets them in stone.

Gathering Agile Requirements

Agile requirements rely on the product owner, designer and development team sharing a deep understanding of the customer. With everyone on the same page, implementation is left to the dev team, who is fully capable of handling it thanks to this shared understanding.

How long should your PRD be?

As a PRD gives you the big picture of what a product should or shouldn’t feature, you could have a one-page PRD for a simple app, or a much more complex one for an accounting SaaS platform which requires complex algorithms, a backend, multiple use cases and wireframes.

Ensuring teams have a shared understanding prior to documentation.

This shared understanding of the customer is vital for any agile PRD. To accomplish it:

  1. Create a customer interview template and ensure that members of your design and dev teams are included when you conduct customer interviews. The benefits are obvious: nobody has to rely on the product owner’s notes, and all teams have a deeper understanding of the customer’s wants.
  2. Ensure that the creation and use of customer personas is a team exercise, for each team member has unique perspectives and, therefore, valuable inputs.
  3. Make issue / defect triage and backlog refinement (ensuring the backlog has the correct items, prioritized correctly, and topmost items are ready for delivery,) a team event instead of left solely in the product owner’s hands.

Overview: An Agile PRD

Ensure that you have created a PRD template (as below) across your team to keep it consistent, so that all are on the same page and can offer meaningful feedback.

Agile Product Requirements Document overview

PRD Section Specifics

Insert mockups & wireframes here

Describe each mockup/wireframe:

Why do you need a good Product Requirement Document?

A great agile PRD serves several purposes:

  1. Saves time
  2. Saves you money
  3. Aids in creating a product that customers will love.

If a product’s required features are in one place where all can see them and strive toward meeting goal deadlines, the outcome is obvious. That product will be built to the highest possible standards, cost effectively, and will ultimately delight end-users as they’ve been involved with this PRD from the start. 

Building even a simple app with no PRD is asking for trouble! Features that balloon beyond their original scope, missed deliverable dates, and more bugs than the Orkin dude sees in a week. Do your due diligence during that first customer meeting and begin drawing up your PRD. They’ll thank you for it and the end product will reflect a shop that truly cares about any products they build. If you need customer interview templates or the Product Requirement Doc template customized for your product, contact custom software development company in Ohio.