The development of a successful product begins with a solid foundation of planning. This foundation commonly takes the form of a Product Requirements Document (PRD) or User Stories – sometimes a combination – which are created during the product definition phase.On a high level, the purpose of product definition is to outline the product’s purpose, features, and functionalities. It will guide all facets of production, including but not limited to design, development, and quality assurance, so it needs to achieve particular goals:
- Map out features and requirements necessary to make the product successful
- Provide a foundation off which to map the development cycle
- Define a product with the purpose of solving a key problem(s)
The third goal in this list is often not emphasized enough in the product definition phase. Yet, it should be at the basis of every product decision, guiding what features are implemented, their importance to the success of the project, as well as success criteria. This post is going to provide tips on how to map out and create product requirements to ensure your PRD or User Stories are created to achieve all of the goals listed above.
The ultimate goal of any project is to create a compelling product. Achieving this begins with research. Customers, competitors, trends, available technologies, users: these are all critical points of research that should be used to inform the direction of your product. Prior to development, you should have a clear understanding of the need or issue you are trying to solve so you can determine how your product will address it.
2. Define The Purpose
What is the purpose of the product? What problems does it seek to solve? Who is the product for? What kind of user scenarios are possible/probable? What is the value proposition? Defining the purpose is important because it helps ensure you are developing a compelling product created with the purpose of solving a real problem. How will you solve user pain points and exceed their expectations far beyond what your competition offers? The process of product definition will help you find answers to all of these questions.