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How to Create a Technical-Requirements Doc for Virtual Events

8 steps to writing a brief that will help stakeholders understand what you need and why

This article is excerpted from The Digital-Hybrid Event Manual: A Comprehensive Guide to Producing Successful Digital and Hybrid Events recently published by John Nawn, co-founder and chief strategist for The Event Strategy Network. The full 133-page manual can be downloaded here.

How do you determine what platforms and tools are right for your digital event?

If this question wasn’t part of an initial needs analysis, you will need to conduct a special technology-needs analysis. The objective of such an analysis is to:
• Outline your current technological capabilities
• Describe the vision for your future technological capabilities
• Identify gaps, bottlenecks, overlaps, or redundancies, including aging or inefficient technology
• Identify technology solutions to the issues identified previously
• Provide a framework for purchasing new tech and retiring obsolete tech

The result of your technology-needs analysis is a technical-requirements document. Among other things, a technical-requirements document defines the features, functionality, and purpose of a technology product or service that you’re interested in for your event. It explains to your stakeholders why a technical product or service is needed and puts it in context.

A technical-requirements document also provides information that will help you determine your budget and define some risk-management aspects. Here are the key steps in writing a technical-requirements document:
• Define the scope of the project, what it aims to accomplish
• List the required features, functions, and purposes
• Define the expected end-user outcomes
• Determine the implementation schedule or timeline
• Document any important intentions and assumptions
• Describe how you will measure results
• Develop a scenario-based testing plan
• Develop a user guide

Conducting a technical-needs analysis and writing a technical-requirements document may seem like a lot of work, and it is. But it’s a lot less work (and a lot less costly) than making a critical mistake and having to start all over again.

A recent study found that almost 70 percent of technology implementations fail. There’s plenty of blame to go around but the primary reason is the lack of well-defined requirements. A thorough needs analysis and requirements doc are your best hope for your event-technology implementation to avoid the same fate.


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