When partnering with a vendor, it’s crucial that you both fully understand the expected outcomes of the partnership.

That’s where a business requirements document (BRD) comes in handy. In this article, we’ll cover the following:

  • Business requirements document definition
  • The difference between a BRD and FRD
  • How to write a successful business requirements document including key components, templates, and examples
  • How BRDs fit into the RFx process

What is a business requirements document?

A BRD is a formal document that outlines the goals and expectations an organization hopes to achieve by partnering with a vendor to complete a specific project.

It’s important to understand this is not the same as a functional requirements document (FRD).

What’s the difference between a business requirements document and functional requirements document?

A BRD deals with what an organization hopes to achieve through a vendor partnership. A functional requirements document (FRD), on the other hand, deals with how they expect to achieve it.

For example, imagine an organization that’s recently purchased an applicant tracking system to help with their recruiting efforts. They might use a BRD to explain that they expect to increase their candidate pipeline by 10 percent. Then, they might create an FRD to detail how they expect to achieve that goal — perhaps through integrations with popular job boards.

To learn more about FRDs check out this blog.

So, how exactly do you create a BRD that effectively informs your vendor about the outcomes and expectations you have around a project?

Everything you need to write a successful business requirements document

What are the components of a business requirements document?

While each BRD is unique, they generally contain a few common sections.

9 business requirements document templates to get you started

One of the quickest and easiest ways to create an effective BRD is to use a proven template to get a head-start. Just keep in mind copying and pasting directly from a template might not be your best option.

Every organization, partnership, and project is unique, and above all, you must ensure your BRD captures the intricacies of your specific requirements. Use the templates below as a starting place, but make edits and changes when needed.

4 business requirements document examples to show you how it’s done

While templates can give you a great starting point, if you’re writing your first BRD, chances are you could use some extra help.

The BRD examples listed below will show you what an effective BRD looks like and provide direction as you start documenting your own requirements.

How does a business requirements document fit into the RFx process?

While BRDs are similar to many RFx documents — including requests for proposals (RFPs), requests for information (RFIs), requests for quotations (RFQs), and more — they do serve a distinct purpose.

Here’s how The Balance Small Business explains the difference between BRDs and procurement documents like RFPs.

“Typically, a request for proposal (RFP) is created for the purpose of soliciting proposals from various vendors.

“A BRD, on the other hand, is prepared for a specific vendor or joint venture partner who has already been selected by the hiring company. The BRD contains more details and more specifications and deadlines to be met along the way and at the end of the project.”

Put simply: RFx documents are used to identify which vendors your organization wants to partner with. BRDs then outline the goals and expectations you have for the vendor you ultimately select.

How RFP360 can help

RFP360 supports effective vendor partnerships starting from the procurement process, with capabilities that empower you to:

  • Uncover client needs. RFP360’s Client Discovery module empowers consultants to easily capture and share client needs with vendors.
  • Collaborate internally. Your entire procurement team can make updates and edits in a single, cloud-based document.
  • Store and organize key content. RFP360’s Knowledge Base helps you store, organize, search, and reuse key organizational content.
  • Document edits and revisions. Version tracking allows you to see when content was updated, what was changed, and who made the edits. You can even revert to a previous version, if necessary.

Request a demo to see how RFP360 can help your organization develop more effective procurement and supplier relationship management processes.