BRD vs PRD contd: Navigating the Dynamic Interplay Between Business Strategy and Product Development

Jaideep Tibrewala
3 min readNov 27, 2023


In our previous discussion on “Understanding the difference between BRDs and PRDs”, we delved into the distinct roles of the Business Requirements Document (#BRD) and the Product Requirements Document (#PRD) in #productmanagement. Let’s take a deeper look, answering three thought-provoking questions that highlight the dynamic interplay between business strategy and product development.

Q1: What is the impact of Business Strategy Changes on BRDs and PRDs?

Changes in business strategy are not just boardroom discussions; they can have profound implications on both the BRD and the PRD. When the team pivots/refines its strategy/requirements, the BRD must be revisited to align with the new direction. This revision can lead to significant changes in the project’s objectives, scope, and business needs. Subsequently, these changes cascade down to the PRD. A realigned BRD necessitates a reevaluation of the product’s features, functionalities, and design specifications in the PRD.

For instance, if a company shifts its strategy from market penetration to product diversification, the BRD must reflect KPIs for the new market segments or product lines. This shift will, in turn, require the product team to redesign the PRD to accommodate new features or functionalities catering to different customer needs or market demands.

Q2: How do changes in the PRD influence the BRD?

While the BRD typically informs the PRD, there are instances where insights during product development can lead to adjustments in the BRD. For example, during the PRD phase, the product team might discover a technological innovation that can provide a competitive edge. This discovery could prompt a revision in the BRD to include exploiting this technology as a new business objective.

In another scenario, user testing during the PRD phase might reveal that certain assumed customer needs are not as crucial as previously thought. This feedback can lead to redefining the priorities of the business needs in the BRD, ensuring that the product being developed is truly aligned with business and customer requirements.

Q3: How do BRDs and PRDs facilitate communication and alignment?

The BRD and PRD play pivotal roles in ensuring cross-departmental communication and alignment. The BRD serves as a unified document that encapsulates the business goals and needs, making it a reference point for all concerned departments and stakeholders. It ensures that every team understands the ‘why’ behind the project/feature.

The PRD, on the other hand, provides a detailed roadmap of the ‘how’, which is crucial for teams like engineering, design, and quality assurance. It lays out specific features and functionalities, aligning technical teams with the product vision.

In the words of Shreyas Doshi, a respected product leader, “A product manager’s job is to ensure an unbroken thread runs from the strategic objectives of the company to the everyday decisions made by the team.”

This quote emphasizes the importance of aligning the BRD and PRD with the company’s strategic objectives.

How do BRDs and PRDs work in Reality?

Eventually, every company deals with BRDs and PRDs in their own way. A recent conversation with a fellow PM revealed that in his company, business does not know and/or does not want to write elaborate BRDs. In turn, Prodct Managers don’t want to write BRDs for business. An email explanation of the requirement often serves as the BRD for the product team. And business teams almost never read the PRDs or sign-off on them. So what’s the right process to follow?

IMHO, the right process to follow is the one that works for you and your team today. To drive a change in the process, it must be either top-down driven, or driven through small behavioural changes where the Product Managers should ultimately take a lead role in ensuring the communication and co-operation between all stakeholders, and follow through on the completeness of the BRDs as well as the PRDs. Defining and publishing a clear workflow of how the BRDs and PRDs should be written with ownership sets the process in place theoretically. In reality, teams ulitmately adjust to the resources they have and the culture within the company.

I’d encourage you to share your thoughts on the same. How have you streamlined this process at your company? And who takes ownership of ensuring the stakeholders are aligned to this process? And what happens when the process is not followed? What’s reality for you?