Best Practices for a Business Requirements Document (BRD)

Best Practices for a Business Requirements Document (BRD)

Your BRD  saved our butts at least three times this year!

Friendly Project Manager giving feedback over a pint of beer.

The following article on business requirements document (BRD) best practices are based on a multitude of past experiences, made up of projects of all sizes.

Whether a three-week engagement or a year-long project, a BRD is crucial. No matter the circumstances, the first step is always to sit down with our client to understand and document their needs. It may be just one link in the chain, but it needs to be just as robust to guarantee success.

The BRD is the final product of the initiation and discovery phase and is used in a waterfall delivery model. By the time a BRD has been approved and signed off, almost every aspect of a given project has been: scoped, studied, documented, reviewed, corrected, and documented again.

The preparation of the document serves two primary purposes. First, it allows the business to reflect on their project as they refine their requirements. Secondly, it allows the consultants learn about the business and teach their client about the solution they will be implementing. However, a completed BRD’s primary goal is to outline the deliverables of the consulting team and the client; in addition to describing, in detail, the proposed solution. Ideally, a perfect BRD could be picked up by any solution architect to set up the entire low-level design, with no additional input.

The work necessary for a successful BRD begins long before the first written word. To deliver the highest quality project, it undergoes initial scoping. Here is when the main features are determined: the adopted solution, the number of campaigns, and any additional scoping details.

The consultant then prepares a discovery questionnaire for the client, and a workshop is set up with the primary stakeholders of the business side. The discovery questionnaire works as the main driver during the workshop where they finalize the details and the client, often for the first time, is introduced to their solution.

Thus, clear and concise project requirements are gathered and documented. These requirements are influenced by the business needs, the IT reality, and the EMM experience. 

Business Needs: The business side contributes the exact requirements of the marketers. The marketers understand better than anyone their reality and can explain what they are trying to achieve. Without all their experience, neither the IT team nor the consultants can accurately dissect the client’s marketing strategy.

IT Reality: The IT side contributes to the reality of the situation and helps everyone determine what to do. They keep business grounded (running reports on responses every hour has little value if the underlying ETLs only run once a day!) and they answer important questions from the consulting team to ensure a clean implementation (the exact version of the database, the operating system, etc.).

The Enterprise Marketing Experience: The consultants are the ones who bring experience to the table. With our vast knowledge in Enterprise Marketing software, we can help with the preparation of use cases and provide methods that are designed to help businesses not only achieve their goals but also fully utilize the tool – and possibly do much more than they expected.

It is this combination that ensures that the final deliverable meets all the business needs. When the final document is signed, and the project design and build phase kicks off, the right conditions are now in place to make sure everything is on time, budget, and scope.

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Nicole Plouffe

Executive Assistant

Nicole harnesses over 8 years of professional experience in executive and administrative roles to ensure the smooth operation of Munvo’s offices, projects, and processes. By working alongside Munvo’s President, she expertly supports the team and leads a number of Munvo community initiatives. Not only does Nicole dream up cool ideas; she puts them into practice by arranging the right people with the right resources.

Munvo University

The Munvo University is an online learning and certification environment designed to accelerate the training of Munvo consultants on Enterprise Marketing solutions. Munvo University is built on 4 main pillars: Marketing, Technology, Methodology, and Consulting.

Mentoring and Coaching

To help integrate newcomers, Munvo encourages a continual Mentoring and Coaching approach to help facilitate each learning experience. This methodology offers trainees with easy access to Munvo best-practices and additional resources from senior consultants.

Summit Meeting

Munvo Summits are 3-day meetings conducted in a resort a week before the holiday break. Summits are a unique opportunity to review the year’s accomplishments and to share plans and objectives for the upcoming year. Our different offices converge together to share stories, update each other on their latest projects, make connections and have fun.

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Ed Scrivani

Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer, Ed oversees the teams responsible for managing professional services, sales, and software products. Ed comes to Munvo with 30 years of enterprise sales and service experience in Enterprise Marketing Management, Online/Mobile Customer Experience Management, Web Content Management, and eCommerce Solutions. Ed brings an extensive background in building teams, coaching and developing talent, and exceeding revenue targets in high growth companies.

Ed started his career in sales engineering and management, selling relational database technology for Informix Software. He then moved to one of the first eCommerce companies, Open Market, where he lead a national team of sales engineers and later ran their professional services practice. He transitioned into direct selling with companies such as Open Text and Oracle. He has spent the last eleven years managing North American sales organizations for companies such as Tealeaf (IBM), Neolane (Adobe), and Quantum Metric.

Ed hold a BS in Computer Science from Hartwick College and a MS in Computer Science from BGSU. 

Julie Bordeleau

Corporate Controller

As Corporate Controller, Julie oversees Munvo’s HR, financial, and accounting functions – from payroll, bank reconciliation, and government remittances, to budget analysis, asset management, and ad-hoc reporting.

With a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting from Concordia University, she first established her career in accounting firms, and spent 6 years at Fuller Landau where she was the Manager and Director of their small business division. She then moved on to a family-owned real estate company as Controller for 7 years before bringing her expertise to the Munvo team.

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Christopher Stanford

Account Executive

As an account executive at Munvo, Christopher is responsible for the business development of Munvo software products, as well as the management of named accounts. In his previous role, Chris managed relationships with clients subscribed to Munvo products, such as CompanionSMS Connector/SMS Gateway, and campaignQA.

Chris holds a Bachelor of Science from the Franklin Pierce University in Business Administration and Management, which he pursued while dominating the baseball field.

Artour Kitbalian

Account Manager

Artour joined Munvo in 2013 as a Consultant delivering services for both the Adobe and IBM (now UnicaCampaign practices to clients across Canada and the US. He quickly earned himself a reputation for providing high-level services while maintaining a relaxed and friendly environment.

Leveraging his consulting experience as a Business Solutions Consultant, Solutions Architect, and Named Account Manager, Artour has been developing Munvo’s client profiles by working closely with them to bring tailored solutions to their needs. The dedication that he demonstrates in each engagement ensures that our clients’ aims remain a top priority.

Before joining Munvo, Artour worked as a Data Migration Consultant. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Management from McGill University.

Alex Uher

Global Marketing Head

As Global Marketing Head, Alex and his team focus on identifying our customers’ needs and solving them by clearly articulating Munvo’s proven solutions. Alex rejoined Munvo after a career of 20+ years in Marketing Automation, Data-driven Marketing, and Marketing Strategy. He has deep experience working across a variety of industries including FMCG (L’Oreal Paris USA), Retail (Coach, Tommy Bahama), Telco (T-Mobile), and Gaming (Caesar’s Casinos). Most recently Alex developed the Central & Eastern European Marketing Strategy practice for Wunderman Thompson in Prague, Czech Republic.

Alex holds double majors in Business Economics and International Business from the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University – Bloomington.

 

Dave Ariely

Marketing Transformation Services Lead

Since joining Munvo in 2013, Dave has continuously focused on helping organizations enable their strategic vision through the evaluation and onboarding of key value-based technologies and processes. With direct experience in implementing over 25 EMM projects across Canada, the US, South America, and Europe, he specializes in designing business-driven solutions for the Banking, Travel, Telecom, and Healthcare industries. Prior to joining Munvo, Dave has held positions at Rogers Communications, Arthroteq Preclinical, and Forniture Technice Europee – an Italian-based electronics distributor servicing the RF communication sector.

Dave holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computing from Queen’s University, as well as a Master’s in Management from Harvard University. A frequent traveller by nature, he speaks English, Italian, French, Spanish, and Hebrew, and can sometimes be found swimming laps, enjoying a live jazz show, or discovering a new pizzeria.

Anna Ivanova

SAS Practice Lead

Since joining Munvo in 2015, Anna has been a passionate advocate for Munvo’s SAS Practice and today she is responsible for evolving and growing the SAS professional services at Munvo. Anna has over 15 years of experience in both business and technology positions in the Credit Card, Banking, Insurance, E-commerce, and Aerospace industries. She has delivered SAS projects in marketing, analytics, data modeling, and CRM, and in credit risk strategies.

Anna holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Concordia University and is currently pursuing a certificate in Data Science and Machine Learning at McGill University. She also holds a Master’s degree in Economics and Administration.

Ajay Bhaga

Technology Lead

As Munvo’s Technology Lead, Ajay facilitates complex deployments that require the integration of multiple technologies. Since joining Munvo in 2008, he has been involved in the delivery of over 35 Enterprise Marketing projects in Canada, the US, Europe, and Asia. He was the pioneer behind the development of Companion, Munvo’s performance and monitoring solution, and also contributed significantly to the enhancement of the company’s cloud-based lab infrastructure. Today, Ajay continues to lead various projects related to cloud integration, distributed architecture, and real-time transactional systems, both internally and with clients.

As a Computer Science undergraduate at the University of Toronto, Ajay was Co-Owner and Lead Developer at Beatcatalyst.com, and subsequently worked for IBM and Toyota.

Brad Penwarden

VP Munvo Products

Brad is the manager of Munvo’s Software Product Development team. Inspired by the software architecture training he underwent at Carnegie Mellon University, Brad is a passionate advocate for agile software methodologies and a quintessential Scrum Master. Since first joining the company in 2009, he’s played a crucial role in more than 30 Enterprise Marketing projects across Canada, the US, and Europe, often managing large development teams on behalf of Munvo clients. A gifted communicator, Brad connects Munvo’s developers and management to smoothly translate complex concepts into colloquial language.

Prior to joining the Munvo team, Brad also worked at Research In Motion (Blackberry) and earned dual Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Business Administration from Wilfred Laurier University.

Andrew Didinchuk

VP Adobe Practice

With 25+ Adobe Campaign implementations serviced, Andrew has become a highly experienced leader in the field. His expertise lies in integrating Adobe solutions with external applications. Over his 5 years at Munvo, Andrew has played a crucial role in building our Adobe business and training the Adobe team from the beginning. In fact, he has been involved in more than 50 on-premise and cloud-hosted Adobe Campaign projects to date.

Prior to joining Munvo, Andrew completed two Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Business Administration at Wilfred Laurier University.

Serge Bohdjalian

VP Unica and SAS Practice

Serge joined Munvo in 2011, bringing with him a wealth of technical and marketing experience. He now manages a Professional Services team specialized in marketing solutions and digital analytics.

For ten years, Serge worked at Matrox Graphics, first as Lead Technical Writer and then as Senior Marketing Manager. He was also the Chief Technologist and owner of Memidex, a word-reference aggregation website with nearly one million pages of content.

Serge holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the John Molson School of Business, a Graduate degree in Computer Science, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Concordia University.

William Brooks

VP Salesforce Practice

As the Vice President of Salesforce Practice, Wil is responsible for developing and assisting new lines of business in addition to overseeing the recruitment and resource development functions at Munvo. Since joining Munvo in 2011, Wil has been engaged in more than 25 Enterprise Marketing projects for industries such as banking, travel, retail, insurance, loyalty, telecommunications, and healthcare. The depth and diversity of Wil’s experience now informs his work in client management and talent acquisition here at Munvo. In fact, he both consults and facilitates workshops in Marketing Resource Management and Campaign Execution & Optimization.

Prior to joining the Munvo team, Wil worked for Publicis, John Hancock, and TeraGo Networks. In 2007, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Toronto.

Bill Dynes

VP Sales and Alliances

As the Vice President of Sales and Alliances, Bill is responsible for supporting Munvo’s rapid growth, while maintaining successful relationships with the company’s clients and technology partners. Since first joining Munvo in 2014, he has played a key role in establishing strategic agreements with various global corporations, in conjunction with the Professional Services and Product teams.

Bill launched his career as a Software Business Consultant back in 1990 when he worked for GEAC Computer Corporation. He went on to provide services for companies such as Epicor Software, Screenscape Networks, eBridge Software, ADFLOW Networks, Nexterna, and the UR-Channel Broadcasting Company. Bill holds a Bachelor of Commerce from McMaster University.

Johanne Roy

Chief Financial Officer

Johanne is the Chief Financial Officer responsible for Munvo’s Finance, Human Resources, and Procurement departments. Prior to joining Munvo, Johanne began her career as an auditor at Poissant Thibault Peat Marwick Thorn (now KPMG) and worked as a law clerk at McCarthy Tétrault. Johanne later took on the role of internal auditor for multiple multi-national organizations, including Cirque du Soleil Inc. and Quebécor World Inc., and also served as the Chief Financial Officer for two subsidiaries of Group Air Liquide in Asia, where she led the Finance, Procurement, and Information Technology departments.

Johanne holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (B.B.A.) from HEC Montreal, a Bachelor’s degree in Quebec Civil Law (LL.B.) from the University of Montreal (UdeM), in addition to the titles of CPA•CA, Lawyer (LL.B.), and Certified Internal Auditor.

Mathieu Sabourin

Founder

Mathieu founded Munvo, originally Client Spectrum, in 2005 after two decades of software and management experience. Deeply inspired by Jim Collins’ influential book, Good to Great (2001), Mathieu started Munvo with the determination, discipline, and entrepreneurial drive to build a world-leading company related to Enterprise Marketing Management solutions. He is now supporting the management team and is also involved with strategic initiatives for Munvo’s continued growth.

Prior to Munvo, Mathieu began his career at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) and then moved on to an eight-year management tenure at Dun & Bradstreet software. He joined the consulting firm Proximi-T in 1994 as Vice President of Software Solutions. Proximi-T would later become Fjord, a division of Cossette Communication Group, Canada’s largest marketing communications agency.

Having previously worked as an Assistant Professor at CIREM-HEC Montreal, Mathieu remains an avid public speaker on topics such as CRM and Enterprise Marketing.

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Agora

Five times a year, Munvo hosts a company-wide Agora meeting to update all team members on various topics such as project accomplishments, corporate initiatives, industry trends, and an introduction for newcomers. These sessions are a great way to bring team members all together and to strengthen everyone’s knowledge in our field.

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Nabil Taydi

President

As President, Nabil oversees Munvo’s executive team responsible for managing professional services, sales, software products, and financial operations. Since first joining Munvo in 2006, Nabil was instrumental in developing a wide range of marketing solution software practices. He was personally involved in deploying marketing solutions for more than 35 global corporations in Canada, the US, Europe, Asia, and South America. Nabil was also a driving creative force behind the development of campaignQA, Munvo’s solution for ensuring more efficient Quality Assurance processes and data validation.

Nabil holds a double Bachelor’s degree in Organization Management and Computer Science & Engineering, as well as Master’s degrees in e-Commerce and Business Intelligence.