Product Requirements Document

A product requirements document (PRD) typically is a very extensive documentation containing all the requirements for a future product, including wireframes, designs, functional and non-functional feature requirements, including sometimes rather technical aspects such as UML activity diagrams, interaction diagrams, or details on integration with 3rd party systems and APIs.
Similar to an Amazon Six Pager, a PRD is a written document that covers many aspects of the product idea, such as:
  • The objective of the product idea
  • Metrics by means of which success will be tracked
  • Target users who would benefit and why the pains addressed are important to them
  • Specific user journeys to be supported
  • Detailed documentation of functional requirements
  • Non-functional requirements, for example for performance aspects or security
  • Design documentation
  • Supporting documentation, for example on the installation and operation of the new solution
  • Go-to-market considerations describing how the product will be launched, how migration is handled, and how marketing, sales, and other customer-facing functions are supported

According to our experiences, the tool feels somewhat outdated and anti-agile. It requires a lot of a priori work by the Product Manager and distracts from Product Discovery as a joint activity with the team. It feels very much like the traditional waterfall methodology.

Of course, there might be exceptions: For example, when implementing a very technical solution, say in the area of mobile networks and IoT, then a huge number of technical aspects have to be considered on a very detailed level – including things like APIs, interfaces, implementation protocols and all the like. In these situations, the details contained in a PRD will be required.