What the differences are between an MRD and a PRD?

I am trying to understand what the differences are between an MRD and a PRD. I've looked back through my course notes for Requirements that Work and Practical Product Management, but I can't seem to find a definitive answer. There is a sample MRD, but nothing for a PRD. What are the elements of each? Today, I am creating what I call a PRD – but I am thinking it is really a hybrid of both the MRD and PRD. While I know that the decision to use one or both is ultimately mine and what works best for our organization, I really would like to know what the components of each document are and what belongs in a Functional Spec that is not in either an MRD or PRD?
We don’t advocate many documents, primarily because no one can seem to remember what goes in which documents. I can’t tell you the hours large companies spent arguing about whether some item belongs in the MRD, the PRD, or the FRS or somewhere else.
In some companies, the Market Requirements Document (MRD) is more of a business case; in others, it’s a set of requirements for a single release. In some cases, development adds a Product Requirements Document (PRD) to explain a poorly written MRD.

In the end, what do you need to communicate and to whom?
A business case explains the product life cycle over 3-5 years and usually includes financial.
A roadmap explains the big deliverables over 2-5 releases (beyond the next release).
A requirements document explains the problems and personas for the upcoming release.
A launch plan explains how the release will be introduced to the market.

Development has additional documents that break the requirements down into tasks but that is not the responsibility of product management.
You’ll find a template for the market requirements document in the files area. Go to the first page of your workbooks from our seminars for the link.

Answered by Steve Johnson

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