The Product Requirements Document (or PRD) communicates what has to be built, in an effective way to all stakeholders. These stakeholders may be internal teams like engineering, QA, marketing or even leadership.

The content of a PRD could vary based on how mature the product is, how many product owners there are in the organisation, the way internal product teams are structured and a variety of other factors.

PRDs at early stage companies are generally much smaller and address all product related questions in less than 10 pages.

As companies grow and build out more complex products, a need for more granular specifications and product documentation arises. These documents are built and maintained by team of product owners who collectively maintain a mature PRD.

Product Requirements Document Template for Early Stage Products

As mentioned earlier, early stage products need small, succinct documents that can cover the entire spectrum of product and market.

The introduction section usually consists of a few pages of documentation that cover the overall goals and value proposition of the product.

There is also a mention of who the customer is and what pain points the product hopes to address.

In early stage products, a couple of paragraphs can also be used here to provide a technical overview of the product. This serves an intro to the tech stack for any engineers reading the document.

The next section describes features to be built along with relevant the details that development teams can use. These include mockups, wireframes and test cases for the QA team.

The final part that an early PRD is a short timeline of the development efforts.

Product Requirements Document for Startups
Product Requirements Document in the Early Stages

Product Requirements Document Template for Mature Products

For larger, more mature companies, with multiple products and teams - a more robust document is needed. This PRD outlines the different parts of the product in great details and lays the foundation for maintaining quality standards while also describing the future of product development efforts.

This template contains the following sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. Detailed Customer Persona & Use Cases
  3. Detailed Feature Specifications
  4. Engineering & QA Guidelines
  5. Product Metrics
  6. Roadmap & Timelines
Product Requirements Document Template
Components of a Product Requirements Document

Feature Specification Template

As products grow larger, the feature description section becomes a collection of individual feature specifications - each owned and maintained by a separate product owner.

The feature spec should be able to paint a picture of what is being built, for who and how they are going to use the feature. In addition to the overview of the feature, it needs to have all the details the development team needs to build and maintain features effectively.

Here are some of the most important parts of a feature spec:

  1. Scope - current and future
  2. Target User Persona
  3. Ideal use case & edge cases
  4. User stories with
  5. wireframes and interactive prototypes.
  6. Usage Tracking / analytics
  7. Release plans
  8. Test Cases
  9. Technical Documentation
Feature Specification Template
Feature Specification Template

Product Requirements Document Template: Engineering & QA Guidelines

The Technical guidelines section contains an overview of the technical documentation of the product. The first section usually covers the technological stack that is being used across features to build the product. This usually covers the different parts of the product and describes the underlying technologies being used to build features.

The second part of the section could include release criteria. This is not just for the QA team but also for the development team to maintain software quality standards. Release criteria covers topics like :

  1. Performance
  2. Scalability
  3. Reliability
  4. Usability
  5. Supportability
  6. Localizability
PRD Engineering Guidelines
Engineering & QA Guidelines in a PRD

Product Requirements Document Template : Timelines / Product Roadmap

The last section of a comprehensive PRD covers the planned timeline for the release of features. While companies may maintain separate product roadmaps in excel or other roadmapping tools, this is usually a snapshot of the overall roadmap embedded into the document.

Product Roadmap
Product Roadmap