What is a Technical Requirement Document?

Updated on October 8th, 2021
What is a Technical Requirement Document?

Technical writing is an undeniably important component of any tech-related job. As a technical writer, you will engage in various documentation, management, and engineering tasks.

A technical requirement document conveys the entire product development workflow in a simple and concise manner. Writers are involved in the entire process, from basic designing to execution, and every single aspect of the project gets reflected in the document.

To know all about the importance of writing a technical specification document, tools for better technical writing, and how to go about writing the ideal technical requirement document, read on.

What is a Technical Requirement Document?

A technical requirement document is a document that consolidates the entire product development workflow and presents it in a straightforward and readable manner.

The functionality, features, and purpose of your company's product are a must in the technical requirement document.

Revision Log

A consistent record of all document updates that clearly highlights who is responsible for what so that you can keep track of all changes with ease.

Assumptions, Risks, Dependencies

All factors that affect the product development workflow. This may include resources or constraints, the presence of a similar product in the market, or the availability of expertise.

Executive Summary

A complete overview of the project, with the necessary background information, target audience, product scope, and high-level goals.

Functional Requirements

A detailed section includes a prioritized list of needs for designers and testers to confirm that all product goals are being met.

References and Glossary

A list of all supporting documents and relevant external links, along with a list of all technical and non-technical terms to decipher the document.

How Do You Write a Technical Requirement Specification?

Writing a technical requirement document is quite different from other standard business documents. It follows a structure that ensures that all readers can understand the content. This is crucial as these readers use the information to complete the project or start a new project.

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you write a technical requirement specification:

  • Be as concise as possible. Start with a simple introductory passage and include bullet points wherever possible to increase readability.
  • Ensure that your sentence structure is simple and conveys only one idea at a time. Mixing multiple ideas and haphazardly presenting them can make the document difficult to read.
  • Use straightforward language so that everyone has a common understanding of the information that you are trying to present.
  • Wherever feasible, try to insert pictures into the document. Choosing the right photos will simplify the concept or showcase the relationship between concepts in a simple, visual format that is easier to follow.

Benefits of a Technical Requirement Document

A well-written technical specification document will allow your team to arrive at a mutual understanding regarding the technical aspects of the product and the development process.

The document will clearly clarify whether the issue is service availability, response time, security functions, software development, or other technical problems. You and your team can then focus on the user requirements, which vary depending on the product and find systematic solutions.

A technical specifications document will also highlight information that will help you make some important decisions:

  • Determining the budget for the project
  • Creating the work breakdown schedule so that all technical specifications are being implemented and adjusted in the product
  • Initiate and develop a plan of communication between the various teams
  • Define and describe risk-management aspects of the project and discuss ways to mitigate the same.

Essential Elements of a Technical Requirements Document

Keeping a checklist of the necessary information will help you consolidate all your information and ensure that the technical specification document contains relevant details.

As you start investing time into the writing process, you will need to consider different aspects of the project while writing the document. Factors such as project implementation, stakeholders, other companies, and required resources are essential to the technical requirements document.

Try to follow the following steps while carrying out the writing process.

Collect Information from Diverse Groups

All the essential data in the technical specification document may come from a variety of sources. Ensure that you speak to the developers, stakeholders, designers, operations team, and users for a thorough and clear technical requirements document.

You may collect this information through various means, such as interviews, questionnaires, surveyors, research, or even a roundtable conference with the relevant parties.

Usage Analysis

Being aware of the product and its relevance to user stories and services is of utmost importance. Try to collect data on the types of users that your product is targeting and their usage habits. Conducting usage analysis will help you stay at the top of your game.

Moreover, by ensuring that other teams and other stakeholders are aware of this information, your company can make the desired changes in the product to achieve maximum success and performance.

Research Desired Outcomes and Needs

As mentioned earlier, the goal of the product development workflow and the technical requirements document is to ensure that user services take center stage. In order to guarantees user satisfaction, you will need to define user needs and how the product can be used in the real world to solve the same.

Consider the following questions:

  • What core issue will your product resolve for your users?
  • What does your product seek to accomplish?
  • Will lives be made easier with your product or software? If so, how?

You will also need to clearly define which teams members are responsible for various aspects of the job. You could use mock-ups, lists, or narratives to achieve this in an organized and understandable manner.

Along with these steps, you could create and design a prototype to clarify the outcomes of the product. The prototypes will allow users to see the implementation of the solutions that your product offers firsthand.

Defining the entire lifecycle of the product development workflow, including the people, processes, software, and technology development, is also crucial to understanding the desired outcomes of your project or service.

Try to identify and point out contingencies that are dependent on each other and why this is so. If possible, you could also come up with solutions that would make them independent of the process and other parts of the product.

System Qualities

As you write your technical requirements document, consider system qualities that will provide all the details surrounding the quality of service and user requirements.

  • Availability: How much time you can expect your system to run or your product to function, based on your system's resources, services, and accessibility to users.
  • Performance: Given specific load conditions of a range of uses, what will be your product's response time and functionality or service.
  • Serviceability: Is your product easy to monitor, repair, and upgrade? Some important factors to consider here include planning for downtime, opportunities for maintenance based on patterns of usage, critical times for service availability, schedules for diagnosis and monitoring.
  • Latent Capacity: How will your service or product deal with sudden and unexpected peaks in usage, independent of more resource usage?
  • Scalability: How quickly can capacity and the number of users be increased or decreased without changes in the original design and structure of the product or service.
  • Security: How secure and reliable is the system, including authorization and authentication of users and information during transfer?

Technical vs. Business Requirement Document

The technical requirements document deals primarily with science, engineering, and technology. Typical documents include specifications, manuals, datasheets, research papers, field reports, and release notes.

A business requirement document consists of just about any writing people do at work, except journalism and creative work. It includes reports, proposals, emails, minutes, business cases, letters, copywriting, bids, and tenders.

But there is some overlap between the two. A business requirement document contains technical data and specifications, such as reports, bids, and proposals.

Business writers may find themselves editing technical content, and technical writers may be called upon to write persuasive documents for a non-technical audience.

Summing Up

That's everything you need to know about writing the perfect technical requirements document! Concise and clear documentation, software development, product scope, and user stories are all essential components of the document.

There are some common guidelines that most technical writing interviews will follow. Familiarising yourself with these will increase your chances of getting the job. Over time, writing a technical requirement document will become easier and easier with some practice and guidance, and you will become an invaluable asset to your company.

FAQ:

What is Technical Writing?

Technical writing is the practice of documenting processes, such as software manuals or instructional materials. An FAQ is a great example of a technical requirement document. It requires knowledge of the product to create it and can often lead to higher product conversions, better onboarding, and more.

Also known as a product requirements document, writers use various programs to create and edit illustrations, diagramming programs to create visual aids, and document editors to design, create, and format their work.

Some of the most common tools for creating a technical requirements document include Snagit, ClickUp, and Tango.

The technical requirement document focuses on user services and a high-quality product that solves real customer problems. The goal is to record the entire project and use the information presented to either change the existing product or draw inspiration from the current product and start a new project.

By understanding your role as a tech content writer and the responsibilities that come with the position, you can produce valuable technical requirement documents that will become an essential part of the production process.

Why Does Writing Matter to a Company?

The famous venture capitalist Ben Horowitz says, "Written communication to engineering is superior because it is more consistent across an entire company, more lasting, and raises accountability." 

Writing is essential across every big product area on a company's roadmap. It helps outline:

Vision: Delving into the "why" behind a project in written form enables team members to make the hard decisions early and gives the rest of the team a clear North Star to align their efforts.

Planning: Breaking down that vision into clear, well-articulated stories, goals, sprints, and documentation makes projects attainable and keeps them aligned with customer needs. 

Execution: Technical writers who can communicate in written form quickly and efficiently with designers, engineers, and product managers are the ones who can effectively clear roadblocks, resolve disputes, and give their ideas enough momentum to get past the finish line to completion.

Presenting your skills to the company and communicating that you will be a valuable addition to their work environment is an essential step in securing your position as a technical writer. Formatting your resume in a clear and concise manner will help you in getting the job and moving upwards.