Difference Between Business Requirements and Technical Requirements

Difference Between Business Requirements and Technical Requirements

The main difference between Business Requirements and Technical Requirements is that business requirements are high-level statements of the goals, objectives, and needs of a business project. They describe what is needed by the business or end users and focus on the outcomes and benefits of the project. Business requirements are generally more about ‘what’ needs to be achieved. In contrast, technical requirements, also known as system or software requirements, detail the ‘how’ aspect. They specify the technical aspects required to implement the solution, such as system behavior, hardware, software, system integrations, data processing, and security standards.

What is Business Requirements and What is Technical Requirements

Business Requirements are the critical activities of an enterprise that must be performed to meet the organizational objective(s) while remaining solution independent. They are the key deliverables that a project is expected to achieve. Business requirements are often captured in documents like a business case or project charter. They focus on understanding the needs of the business, the scope of the project, stakeholders’ expectations, and the business impact of the project deliverables.

Technical Requirements, on the other hand, are the technical issues that must be considered to successfully implement a project. These are also known as non-functional requirements or system requirements. They describe the characteristics that a system must have (such as performance, design constraints, quality standards) and the conditions under which it must operate. Technical requirements address topics like system performance, data handling, security, and integration with existing systems or future systems and are typically detailed in a technical specification document.

Key Differences Between Business Requirements and Technical Requirements

  1. Focus and Scope: Business requirements focus on the needs and objectives of the business, while technical requirements focus on the technical aspects required to implement a solution.
  2. Nature of Requirements: Business requirements are generally high-level and less detailed, whereas technical requirements are detailed and specific.
  3. Stakeholders Involved: Business requirements are often defined by business stakeholders and users, while technical requirements are usually defined by technical teams like IT and development staff.
  4. Solution Independence: Business requirements are solution-independent and do not specify how to achieve the outcomes, while technical requirements are solution-specific and describe how the system should work.
  5. Documentation: Business requirements are typically captured in business cases or project charters, while technical requirements are detailed in technical specifications or system requirement documents.
  6. Purpose and Goals: The purpose of business requirements is to understand and define the needs and objectives of the business, while the goal of technical requirements is to define the technical specifications and conditions for the system.
  7. Level of Detail: Business requirements are usually broader and more strategic, while technical requirements are more detailed and tactical.
  8. Change Management: Changes in business requirements often have a broader impact on project scope and objectives, whereas changes in technical requirements typically affect system design and implementation.

Key Similarities Between Business Requirements and Technical Requirements

  1. Essential for Project Success: Both business and technical requirements are crucial for the successful completion of a project.
  2. Basis for Planning and Execution: They provide a foundation for project planning, execution, and management.
  3. Need for Clear Documentation: Both require clear, detailed, and accurate documentation for effective communication and understanding.
  4. Subject to Change: Both business and technical requirements can evolve during the lifecycle of a project.
  5. Stakeholder Involvement: Involvement and input from stakeholders are critical in defining both types of requirements.
  6. Quality Assurance: Both types of requirements are used to measure and assure the quality of the project deliverables.
  7. Guidance for Development: They guide the development and implementation process by setting expectations and constraints.

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*Based on a survey of small businesses using QuickBook Online conducted September 2018.