Business Requirements

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Business requirements describe something that the business needs to run its business and stay in business. They describe "what" the business needs at a high level and does not get into details.

They also define "why" the business wants something by clarifying the benefits that happen when a requirement is accomplished. Also important is that they are written from the perspective of the business, as opposed of the perspective of any user or stakeholder.

What is the purpose here?

Business Analysts capture business requirements to understand exactly what is expected of new IT solutions and how these support business objectives. Having good clarity on business requirements sets the stage for other important components in IT projects. They are the foundation for things such as the business case to justify the investment and key project management aspects such as the project charter, scope and management plans.

How does it work, at a high level?

Business requirements explain the benefit of a new solution in some way, such as reducing errors or faster processing time, and other things that make the business better. Key business requirements can include:

  • The business context; why is a project happening or needed?
  • Business goals and objectives; how will this make the business better?
  • A high-level vision for the solution
  • Descriptions of the current ‘as-is’ system and how the future ‘to-be’ system could work, using process flows and models
  • Descriptions of project boundaries, such as details for the schedule, scope or budget 
  • Clarity on who the active stakeholders are and how this project will impact their area
  • Clarity on apparent risks that may prevent the project from happening as expected

They do not describe what the system must do, because those are functional requirements!

Where can I find more details?

Good article with visuals

Wikipedia article