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How do you define a business requirement?

How do you define a business requirement?

A business requirement is not just an abstract concept – it’s a tangible set of expectations that explain what a product or service should ultimately do. It helps define the shape, functionality and performance of the product. These requirements are used by key stakeholders and other decision makers to make informed decisions when creating a product or service. But what exactly do you need to consider in order to define a business requirement? In this blog post, we’ll explore how to define business requirements, including what must be taken into consideration and how these can help drive success for your organization.

What is a business requirement?

As its name suggests, a business requirement is a statement of what is required in order for a business to achieve its objectives. It is typically used in the context of software development, and specifies the functionality that a software application must provide in order to meet the needs of the business.

A business requirement can be either functional or non-functional. Functional requirements specify the behavior of the system, while non-functional requirements place constraints on that behavior. For example, a functional requirement for an e-commerce website might be that it must allow customers to search for and purchase products online. A corresponding non-functional requirement might be that the website must be able to handle large numbers of concurrent users without crashing.

Business requirements are usually generated during the early stages of a software development project, before any actual coding takes place. This allows developers to have a clear understanding of what they need to build, and also ensures that the final product will meet the needs of the business.

The different types of business requirements

There are four different types of business requirements: functional, non-functional, business rules, and process requirements.

Functional requirements are the specific features or functionality that a system must have in order to meet the needs of the users. For example, a user might need to be able to search for a product by name or by category.

Non-functional requirements are the quality attributes that a system must have in order to meet the needs of the users. For example, a user might need the system to be fast, accurate, and secure.

Business rules are the policies and procedures that govern how a business operates. For example, a rule might state that all products must be shipped within 5 days of being ordered.

Process requirements are the steps that need to be followed in order to complete a task. For example, a process requirement might specify that an order must go through an approval process before it can be shipped.

How to write a business requirement

There are a few key things to keep in mind when writing a business requirement: clarity, precision, and audience.

1. Clarity: A business requirement should be clear and concise. It should be free of ambiguity and jargon, and should clearly state what is needed.

2. Precision: A business requirement should be specific and well-defined. It should identify who is responsible for meeting the requirement, what exactly needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and why it is needed.

3. Audience: The audience for a business requirement will vary depending on the project or initiative involved. In some cases, the audience may be internal (e.g., management or another department within the company). In other cases, the audience may be external (e.g., customers or regulatory agencies). It is important to tailor the language and level of detail in a business requirement to the specific audience that will be reading it.

The benefits of having a well-defined business requirement

As the blog article states, a business requirement is “a statement of need that a business has”. A well-defined business requirement provides clarity for both the business and the development team as to what needs to be delivered. Developing software without a clear understanding of what the business needs can lead to features being built that are not used, or worse, not fit for purpose.

A well-defined business requirement should therefore be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based. It should also be aligned with the overall business strategy. This ensures that the development team builds something that meets the needs of the business, and that it is delivered in a timely manner.


Business requirements provide the foundation for any successful business project. They define what the business needs to accomplish, allowing you and your team to focus on creating a product or service that meets customer needs. By properly defining each requirement at the outset of a project, businesses can ensure they are well-positioned to achieve their desired outcomes while minimizing risk of error during design and build stages. With tools such as process analysis and user stories, businesses will be able to capture highly detailed requirements that allow them to create products and services which fulfill customer demands.

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