Friday, August 5, 2016

PRINCE2 – Hierarchy of Requirements

Product based planning is one of the most powerful techniques in PRINCE2, but where do you draw the line on how detailed a product description should be? Unlike PMBOK® Guide from PMI, PRINCE2 doesn’t explicitly deal with requirement management.

Who documents which level of requirements? What goes in the Project Product Description (PPD in the Project Brief and PID), what should be in the Product Descriptions and what do you do with the rest? Here are some advices:

Project Product Description (in the Project Brief)
High level requirements should be staged in the PPD as part of the Composition and Quality Expectation. Requirements should be limited to high level only and should possibly be less than 10 in numbers.

Product Description
Intermediate (Epic) level of requirements should live in the Product Descriptions. A handful of bullet points, probably more than 10 – certainly less than 100, can be listed as part of the composition and quality criteria.

Detailed Requirements
Many project will have hundreds or thousands of detailed requirements or user stories. These requirements should be managed in separate backlogs or requirement documents. While the high level requirements and scope elements are documented in the PPD and Product Descriptions by the Project Manager, the detailed requirements should many cases have a separate owner and should be documented by business analysts, human factor engineers, technical architects, product managers, product owners or similar roles.

Product Group.
Less than 10?
High level composition of project outputs.
Bullet points in PPD-Composition and Quality Expectation
Product Description
Probably more than 10. Certainly less than 100
Intermediate (Epic) level of requirements.
A handful of bullet points on composition and quality criteria
Detailed requirements
100+ statements
Lower level requirements.
In separate documents/
Backlogs. Can replace Product Description.

Related articles:
PRINCE2 Project Brief – Scope vs PPD
Does Design Input Replace PRINCE2 Product Descriptions?
What is a PRINCE2 product?
Warning: Product Description is not a Functional Requirement Specification
Does a Design Input Replace a PRINCE2 Product Description
PRINCE2 Project Brief – Scope vs PPD
PowerPoint PRINCE2 Project Brief Template

 Image courtesy of  Stuart Miles at
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