Vision document

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A Vision Document is a document that describes a compelling idea or values or future state for a particular organization, product or service. It defines the stakeholders view of the product/service to be developed, specified in terms of the stakeholders key needs and features. Containing an outline of the envisioned core requirements, it provides the contractual basis for the more detailed technical requirements. It is much shorter and more general than a product requirements document or a marketing requirements document, which outline the specific product plan and marketing plan respectively.

For a developing country a vision document serves as an instrument of development planning, rather than a political statement. Based on a baseline survey, need based bench mark statement would help in the long run, with an appropriate time line.

Purpose[edit]

The Vision provides a high-level, sometimes contractual, basis for the more detailed technical requirements. It captures the "essence" of the envisaged solution in the form of high-level requirements and design constraints that give the reader an overview of the system to be developed from a behavioral requirements perspective. It provides input to the project-approval process and is, therefore, closely related to the Business case. It communicates the fundamental "why and what" for the project and is a gauge against which all future decisions should be validated.

Another name used for this artifact is the Product Requirement Document.

A vision document generally contains:

  • Introduction
  • Business Needs/Requirements
  • Product/Solution Overview
  • Major Features (Optional)
  • Scope & Limitations
  • Other Needs

Timing[edit]

The Vision is created early in the Inception phase. It should evolve steadily during the earlier portion of the lifecycle, with changes slowing during Construction. It evolves in conjunction with the Business case and is meant to be revised as the understanding of requirements, architecture, plans, and technology evolves.

The Vision serves as input to use case modeling, and is updated and maintained as a separate artifact throughout the project. For agile projects, the Product Vision can feed into the user story development.

See also[edit]