How to prepare business requirements for your new system

In this article
You will learn how to prepare business requirements for a new ecommerce system.

Once you have decided on the ecommerce related business initiative, the next step is to define what you need to have in the solution.  These are known as business requirements.

At the basic level, a business requirement is a statement of a specific want or need that the new initiative must provide for a specific user.

For example:

An online customer must be able to view the current stock levels from the Product Page

The purpose of a business requirement is three fold:

  1. Form a basis of ‘shopping list’ of what is required from a new system or solution.
  2. Enable the provider(s) of the solution to review and assess what aspects they can meet, and ascertain a cost and time for delivery.
  3. Used as a checkpoint to verify whether the new system has provided all that was intended.

Business requirements might sound easy to pull together. However it does require some effort to put together a comprehensive set that can be used effectively and consistently. Good business requirements are an essential resource as they provide a clear statement of what is required and when agreed to by a provider, can form the basis of the contract for work.

To make business requirements useful, a number of elements are required to make them a valuable resource for the project:

  • Clear statement of what is required
  • At a specific and consistent level of detail: too little detail and its too vague, too detailed and it loses its usefulness.
  • Who will be using or doing it (whether a person or system)
  • How it will be done (automatic, manual input, scanning, etc)

Business requirements need are not just “functional”, i.e. being able to do something. There are also requirements about how fast, how many, design, integration to other systems, types of devices and operating systems that may be used.

Take action in your business

  • Use the checklist to determine who needs to be involved in your business for defining requirements for a new solution (these should be your stakeholders)
  • Prepare the current business processes so that these can be used to stimulate ideas for requirements
  • Set-up a meeting or series of meetings to capture the business requirements and consider how the current business process might change with the new solution.
  • Agree who should own the business requirements (this is a topic on its own!), e..g does finance own the requirements for defining fraud check rules? These will be a key to answering questions once the project gets under way.

What's Next:

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