How to write a great project brief?
Every great project starts with a great project brief. The task of writing an effective brief that communicates well can often be overwhelming. We’ve prepared a brief guideline for writing the great project brief so that you and your team can focus on other important things.
Start at the beginning
Introduce yourself and your position on the project. Try to be detailed, so your freelancer or an agency is confident with you and know who are they talking to. Mention the details like your position on the project, who are the people you’re working with closely, your previous position and the most important – your contact information. Make sure to mention what is your availability in terms of working hours and don’t forget to include your timezone if you’re working with someone abroad. Mention any specific communication apps you and your team use, so you can all be on the same page.
Your company in the spotlight
Write a few sentences about your company and what are your objectives, slogans and why are you doing what you do. Talk about what drives your success and who are your primary clients. Explain your vision and what problems your company wants to solve. Mention who are your biggest competitors, so freelancer or an agency can get a better insight into the industry, overall style and competition for the particular project. All this information is vital to the project’s success and it is easier and much faster to write it at the beginning than to go back and forth with questions from the freelancer or an agency.
Heart of the project
This is the part of the brief where you should begin to write about the project and what you need. Start by explaining how did you get an idea for this project and what do you want to achieve with it. Try to be as descriptive and as detailed as possible because this is the core of the brief. This is the part of the brief where the freelancer or an agency should learn the most about the project and where every detail matters.
Aiming in the right direction
Explain who is your target audience and who do you want to impact with the particular project. Even if you don’t have the exact target audience and if you haven’t done the research on your clients’ demographics, it still helps to have rough guidelines in which direction to go with the project.
If there’s a logo, website or business card you like – reference it. Doesn’t even matter if it’s not the same type of medium, the only thing that’s important is that you’ve mentioned it and that the freelancer can know which direction to go. Sometimes, the reference for the website design doesn’t have to be another website – it can be a business card, flyer or poster. It’s important that the freelancer has an insight into the look and feel that you want to pursue regardless of the medium on which that style was implemented. This pointer is the same for any project you do. The reference doesn’t need to be in the same category as the project itself but bear in mind that the closer the category of reference is, the easier for the freelancer it is. It’s also not that hard to find a good reference in the same category, so you should maybe try to do that.
Provide assets and save time
Point out if you have any current assets that could help freelancer or an agency do the job more efficiently. Mention any company colors, graphics, mockups or anything that should remain or should be considered. Companies often have visual identity guidelines of some sort, so if you have it, provide everything. Also, you can just mention that you have a particular asset and let the freelancer decide if that can help with the project’s further development.
Timeline of success
The freelancer or an agency should know how you planned things and if you want to divide the project into the milestones. Explain when is the optimal date for the finished work to be done and if you have a specific date for the event to prepare for. You don’t know how many more clients does the freelancer have and it is best to keep everything tidy from your side so that the freelancer or an agency can organize their schedule efficiently. Sometimes, agencies would outsource people and this adds another level of complexity – that’s why you should define milestones and deadline precisely.
Maybe you don’t have a specific budget defined yet, but you most certainly know how much would you spend on a specific project. Your budget is not limitless and freelancer’s or agency’s resources aren’t too, so it’s best to give a very rough estimate of the money that you would invest in the project. This will allow much better insight into the project and allow the organization of more or fewer people on the project, depending on the budget and the project needs.
To finish the project brief, be polite and very open-minded. Be open to suggestions from the freelancer or an agency for process improvements whether they include recommendations for use of project management apps, different chatting platforms for communication or anything at all. There’s a good chance they know what are they doing and they are here to help you, so ask them if they have any recommendations concerning the project’s success.
Writing the project brief is not an easy task. Project brief represents a frontier of your project and its importance shouldn’t be undermined. Follow this structure in writing a project brief and you’re most certainly gonna have a great start. We’ve also prepared free templates for you in different document formats for Apple Pages and Microsoft Word, so you can start off just by downloading templates here.
This was a brief guideline of how should a great project brief be written. Let us know if you have any other advice or techniques for writing even better project brief.