How to Write a Great Product Requirements Document (PRD)

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Damien Filiatrault
Founder & CEO
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Originally published on Apr 5, 2020Last updated on Jan 4, 2024

Key Takeaways

What is a Product Requirements Document?

A Product Requirements Document is a document that outlines the purpose, use cases, and functionality of an intended product at a high level. It’s the starting point for planning and designing a piece of software to be completed before the developers get started.

What’s the purpose of a Product Requirements Document?

The purpose of a Product Requirements Document is to outline the general shape and objectives of a project to make sure everyone is on the same page once things get started. Ultimately, it’s about providing a clear direction to help teams get moving quickly and in the right direction.

Why should you use a Product Requirements Document?

You should use a Product Requirements Document for your project as it allows you to maintain control over your project, and ensure that everyone is on the same page with what’s being built. A PRD acts as an anchor for expectations and direction to share with and unify the team.

What is a good PRD?

A good PRD communicates the overall vision of a product and outlines how end-users will use it. It answers important questions like what’s the product, what is its purpose and the problems it solves, who will use it, and if they're other similar products that exist on the market. PDRs bring clarity and help answer important questions right off the bat. The document acts as the starting point for your product and is an essential precursor to design and development.

Who writes the PRD?

Typically, a product manager will write a PRD. But, if it's a new company, usually a founder will map out their product ideas and communicate issues it plans to solve for the end-user. This PRD will be given to the developers and designers so they can start mapping out how it will technically work.

What should be in a PRD document?

Your PRD should define your goals, describe your ideal users, answer short user stories on how they’d use the product, and include the design of individual screens to show how users would journey through your product. For bonus points, map out different user touch points like emails and list our functional and non-functional requirements.