Market Requirements Document
The Market Requirements Document (MRD) is a document written by product managers and given to engineering and the product steering committee (if there is one), to specify a proposed new product or new revision.
This document is typically written by the Product Marketing Manager with assistance from research, marketing communications, sales, engineering, and finance. It is used to create a market-driven product and is a component of the business case and portions are typically used within the annual marketing plan.
I’ll defer to an excellent article from Steve Johnson from Pragmatic Marketing entitled, “Writing The Marketing Requirements Document,” which contains the MRD elements. I second Steve’s comments about the roles of marketing and engineering–often the Product Marketing Manager is technical and sometimes gets way to involved in the technical aspects of the product.
The Product Marketing Manager is the customer expert, engineering is the product expert. The Product Marketing Manager is responsible for what is developed and why engineering is responsible for how the product is developed. Conflict occurs between engineering and marketing when either of the team assumes responsibilities for that which he does not have the time or specific expertise.
Additional links to MRD’s include:
- Writing an MRD? Stop. An article from Infrasystems tells a better way to write MRD’s.
Sample MRDs (some may or may not follow my preferred format or content, but they do provide some examples):
- Portable Website. Uses a simple table format. In Word format.
- Virtual Art viewer. Looks robust – the proof is, “Can you develop a technical specification from the data?” In Word format.
There used to be numerous sample MRD’s (some were very good) but the corresponding sites kept disappearing. You can search the Web for MRD’s and find several examples.
Please feel free to submit sample MRD’s (please submit out of date MRD’s, make them generic, or suggest that I make them generic, so they don’t reveal confidential information) to Webmaster.
Resources on Product Management & the Market Requirements Document
See the above Product Management section to learn more about the 280 Group and Pragmatic Marketing–two of the top training organizations on Product Management best-practices.