How to Organize Requirements as a Business Analyst

A business requirement is a formal document that addresses the need of the stakeholders for the project or product. There is no standard format or template to present the business requirement. However, it should cover the product or project description in enough detail to discuss, analyze, document and validate.

A business requirement can be presented in any of the following ways:

  • A table or a spreadsheet
  • A diagram (workflow)
  • A graph
  • A model (entity-relationship diagram)
  • A prototype or simulation
  • A structured sentence or text template

How to Organize and Present a Business Requirement

Below are the steps to write and organize requirements as a Business Analyst.

Step 1) Categorize the requirements.

  • Place specific requirement to its relevant categories.
  • For technical stakeholders there should be technical requirement category, for non-technical stakeholders there should be generic requirement category.
  • Each organization should figure out which category suits their standards.
  • Categorization can also be done based on their types (functional versus business). Though this is not applicable to all cases.

Step 2) Arrange requirements.
Gather and arrange requirements in a logical order. So when stakeholders review the requirements, it is easy to navigate and also identify missing items.

Step 3) Prepare a list.
Prepare a list of the requirements that are meant to be reviewed by specific stakeholders.

For example, if a stakeholder is from technical background then he would like to know only the technical aspect of the product.

Step 4) Use unique identifiers.
If tracing requirement to each other is difficult, then use unique identifiers, ease in traceability.

Step 5) Present requirement in stakeholders preferred method
In certain scenarios, you might have to present the same requirement in different ways for different stakeholders. For example, one stakeholder prefers a graphical format while the other prefers a structured sentence format.

Step 6) Prepare a table of content.
Create a table of content for all the requirements. It helps stakeholders to easily track requirements.

Step 7) Use Business Analysis tools.
Business Analysis tools that help in presenting and categorizing the requirements

Step 8) Organize requirement documents by process flow.
In your requirement document, remove all unnecessary requirements, and organize requirement documents by process flow.

Step 9) Map the requirements.
Map the requirements you have gathered to a particular step in a process flow, and this will help reviewers to relate requirements to process flow.

Step 10) Use table & bullet points.
Use a table for presenting complex requirements. Use bullet points to highlight the key aspect of the requirement.

Useful tips for write and present a business requirement document

For better presentation and tracking of business requirements for stakeholder, here are some tips that might be helpful to BA (Business Analyst).

  • Categorizing requirement is time-consuming and may not be feasible for every organization to create a new category each time. For best practice, it is recommended that there should be a standard set of categories which can be commonly used by BAs, stakeholders, subject experts and technical teams.
  • Your requirement should be prepared in context to your audience. Understand who are the key players, influencers and decision makers. (Stakeholders, technical staff, developers, etc.)
  • Define one requirement at a time. Each requirement should be atomic.
  • Avoid ambiguity by avoiding acronyms like etc., approx., and so on.
  • Do not refer to a requirement that is yet to be defined.
  • Avoid duplicate and contradictory statements.
  • Break complex requirement into manageable and reviewable points.
  • Avoid describing how the system will do something only mention what the system will do.