This article also appears on Business Analyst Times, The Requirements Networking Group, and the Blueprint Blog.
The typical requirements document is a long, sprawling piece of literature. Within it, one might find a title page, table of contents, change history, complex headers and footers, legalese, confidentiality notices, and, if you’re lucky, maybe even requirements.
Its length is probably, primarily due to the fact that it tries to be everything to everybody. But, the problem is that this big freaking document isn’t read entirely by any single person, except perhaps by the person who wrote it in the first place.
Every company refers to these documents as something different: BRDs, PRDs, BPDs, DRDs, SRSs, FRDs… or any other number of acronyms that people have forgotten the meaning of. OMG. To complicate matters, each department, project team… heck, person, uses their own template; so, one BRD does not necessarily equal another. But, who can blame the people who write these things? There are deadlines to be met, and all templates do not accommodate the needs of the many. Adjustments are made.
But luckily, from where I sit, I believe that the typical, mega-honking requirements document is nearing its death. And the good news is that this eventuality is closer than most people think. Don’t believe me? We have actually witnessed this happening at some of the more progressive companies that we’ve worked with.
Let’s walk through the reasons why I think these documents exist, and the problems that lie within.
Continue reading The Big Freaking Requirements Document Must Die. Here’s Why. »