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Next, it’s time to plan out the details of the product by creating four requirement documents.

Market and Customer Requirements

  • What problem exists in the market?
  • What does the problem look like to customers?
  • What do customers want in a solution?
  • What do customers need in a solution?
  • What are our competitors doing?

Functional and Non-Functional Requirements

  • Functional requirements describe items that solve particular problems for users. (Example: Coffee machine sanitizes itself after each brewing cycle with water temperature of 212°F.)
  • Non-functional requirements involve the background operation of the product or service. (Example: Coffee machine will weigh less than two pounds.)
  • It can be helpful to prioritize requirements, particularly for early product designs.

Engineering Requirements

  • Describe the technical specifications of the design.
  • Define terms that will be used in the design of the product, particularly jargon or ambiguous terms.
  • Describe what materials will be used in the product.
  • Include patents and technologies that will be used or developed.

Testing Requirements

  • Describe how testing will be performed and documented. Create use cases if appropriate.
  • Outline performance targets. (Example: Coffee maker must start up within 15 seconds.)
  • Allow for variation where appropriate. (Example: Coffee machine will weigh between 1.8 and 2.2 pounds.)
  • Include any external inspections, approvals, etc. that will be required.
  • Create procedures for re-testing, rejection, and production changes.