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What is a Product Description Sheet
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Product Description Sheet

What is a Product Description Sheet

Definition of a Product Description Sheet

A product description sheet, also known as a product requirements sheet, is a document used during the development process to define what the final product will be. It touches on features, physical/digital design, requirements, and capabilities. Product description sheets are primarily used in waterfall (sequential) workflows, though they can fit into any development structure.

The aim of a product description sheet is to define the scope and purpose of the project early on. This creates a very different process versus “discovery” development, where a loose concept gradually grows into a fully-formed output. 

Product description sheets are useful for translating the ideas and goals of the management team into a vision that the development team can execute on. Without a tool like this, it's easy for management to lay out vague ideas that are difficult for the development team to gauge and translate.

What should a product description sheet contain?

The essential ingredients for a product description sheet are:

  • Product overview: This should explain the goal in creating the product, answering the question: "Why does this product exist?"

  • Features: This should cover everything the product will be capable of, separated into categories of "should have" and "could have". If a feature is complex, it could be broken into sub-features for added clarity. 

  • Supported systems and environments: This section will list which systems and settings the product will be available on.

General FAQ

What is a product description document?
A product description document, or product requirements sheet, is a document that outlines the scope of a product in concrete terms, such as the product's features, design, and interface. It's a method for taking an abstract idea and describing it in grounded detail.
What makes a good product description?
A good product description will contain the purpose and a broad overview of the final product, answering the "why" of the product. It should also include specific features and capabilities of the final product that are required for the project to be considered complete and valuable to the user.
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