What are the common characteristics that all good business requirements possess?

Good business requirements are a true representation of how your target customers see themselves, without any bias to your products or services.
One of the most challenging things for product managers is writing requirements from the customer’s perspective. When you live, eat, sleep and breath products 24 x 7 x 365, it’s difficult to do without any product bias.
The other thing that makes it difficult is that product managers know what features they want to add to their products long before they write the business requirements. The result is product-centric requirements that are reverse engineered to match the desired features.
Good business requirements answer the following five questions:
  1. Who is the customer?
  2. What are they trying to accomplish & why is it important to their success?
  3. What’s stopping them & why?
  4. What are they doing about it?
  5. How is success measured?

These situation-based requirements force product managers to know what happens inside the business of their target customers, why, and the impact it has on the customer organization as a whole. When product managers possess this level of expertise, products are better designed, more usable and easier to market and sell.

Remember, the reasons you build products and features are no different than the reasons customers buy them — they make someone better at something that’s important to the success of their organization. In other words, when you write good business requirements, you’ve also written the positioning. They’re one and the same.

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