IT Requirements Documents: Definition, Templates & Examples

Instructor: David Gloag

David has over 40 years of industry experience in software development and information technology and a bachelor of computer science

Businesses and customers alike are turning to formalized methods to bring some structure to their interaction. In this lesson, we'll take a look at one such method, IT requirements documents.

Fairness - Putting Your Cards on the Table

Commerce makes the world go around. Every day, businesses sell a multitude of products and services to consumers around the globe. It shouldn't come as a surprise that some structured means of interaction is needed to ensure fairness for everyone involved. This can take many forms. In your local grocery store, for example, products and services of a specific type are displayed in a common area. Knowledge is gathered by watching or listening to commercials that tout the virtues of the particular item. But what do you do when the product or service is expensive, and isn't well known, or doesn't exist at all? Well, many IT related business transactions are based on the idea of a requirements document.

What is an IT Requirements Document?

An information technology (IT) requirements document is a multi-page description of the capabilities that a specific product or service (typically both) should provide. The language used is specific, as the document is legally binding. It forms the basis for interaction between a consumer of the product or service (customer), and the provider of that product or service (vendor). It can be generated by either party. In most instances, it is generated by both. The customer creates a high level, overview document, and the vendor derives a detailed version from the overview. Once both parties agree on the contents, work begins.

What Does an IT Requirements Document Look Like?

IT requirements documents can take many forms depending on who is writing it, and who is reading it. At times, it can even depend on the product or service it describes. For example, if a product already exists, there may not be sections that describe how it is made. But regardless, most IT requirements documents have the following 3-tiered structure:

Requirements Document Outline
Requirements Document Outline

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