Product Requirements

Product Requirements

Product Requirements Jonathan Poland

Product requirements refer to the documented expectations and specifications that outline the desired characteristics and features of a product or service. These requirements serve as a guide for the development of new products and the improvement of existing ones, and are typically collected from various stakeholders such as business units, customers, operations, and subject matter experts. The following are examples of product requirements.

User Stories

Requirements that capture expectations for the product. Typically contributed by business units who own the product. Often phased as customer expectations. For example, “As a customer, I want the shirt to be free of tags that rub against the skin.”

Customer Requirements

Requirements contributed by a customer such as a lead user. For example, “I want to be able to choose from hundreds of bright colors.”

Business Rules

Business rules that define the operation of the product. Often stated as conditional statements such as “if ___ then ___.” For example, “If the user presses the power button then the device automatically saves work and shuts down without any further confirmations.”


Usability requirements that improve ease of use. For example, “this button works when users finger is slightly off target.”

Customer Experience

Requirements intended to improve the end-to-end customer experience such as “beeps and other feedback sounds are off by default.”


Brand related requirements such as a brand style guide that is to be used for packaging.


Specifications of goals that can be accomplished with the product. For example, “As a customer, I want to be able to effortlessly carry a bag of groceries with the bicycle.”


Specifications of elements that achieve goals. For example, “the bicycle shall have a 9 liter basket securely mounted between the handle bars.”

Implementation Requirements

Placing constraints on how the product will be constructed. For example, “the basket will be constructed using recycled PET plastic.”


Performance targets for the product such as a figure of merit. For example, “the solar panels shall have a maximum conversion efficiency of at least 20%.”

Service Requirements

Requirements for services such as the requirement that a software service be available at least 99.99% of the time.

Technical Requirements

Requirements from subject matter experts such as an information security specialist or software architect.

Operations Requirements

Requirements from operations teams such as a requirement that the product be impossible to put together incorrectly.


Quality requirements in areas such as durability. For example, “the phone can be dropped from 1.5 meters height to a concrete surface 40 or more times without breaking.”


Risk related requirements such as a safety target for a bicycle. For example, “the bicycle’s brakes will have less than a 0.01% chance of failure for the first two years.”

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