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6 Key steps to follow when giving a brief

by Yellow 403 Days

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Presenting your colleagues with a good brief is a vital first step when starting any sort of team assignment. It is a well-known fact that successful projects all start with a thorough and effective brief. Essentially, a brief is the blueprint of a project, because it helps shape the overall strategy and goals related to that project. Although developing a solid brief takes time, it's all worthwhile when the end result aligns with your original expectations. Follow these 6 key steps to write up a satisfactory brief that will smoothen the process of carrying out projects and, in the long run, save you more time and money!

Write everything down

When you physically take note of everything, you are able to focus your thinking more on what needs to be achieved. A written brief will serve as a benchmark when you evaluate the final outcome of your project. It will also ensure the buy-in of your key co-workers - those individuals whose go-ahead will make or break whether the project you are working on will actually be taken on. By displaying everything in writing, you will avoid wasting time and using up resources to convince everyone to get on board.

Be clear and simple

The trick is to summarise your thoughts in the brief, without overloading it with information. Providing all the pertinent details is important, as is including your strategic proposals. But too much detail can be overwhelming. The detail needs to be informative yet digestible. Relevance and context are going to be more important to your colleagues than never-ending statistics.

Pinpoint your objectives

This is probably the most important part of any brief. Start by thinking about what you want to achieve from tackling the project at hand. Think about the strategy you want to put in place,  the method you would use to measure success, your leading target audience and, ultimately, think about what you are truly trying to solve. Illustrating all these very clearly will help whoever is being briefed to completely understand the goals of the project, making it easier for them to respond to it with solutions.

Identify your competition

A good brief should always incorporate a well-researched overview of the competitive landscape. Look at the trends and market conditions that are impacting your particular industry, and that relate directly to the project you have in front of you. Most importantly, analyse what competitors are doing to tackle similar projects.

Set a deadline and budget

Apart from deciding on a completion date for the project, you should draw up a timeline that can cater for the overall process, including any unexpected obstacles such as last minute requests for amends. A specific budget, and how it will be allocated to the different elements of the project, should also be included.

Develop the brief with the rest of your team

A project should never start before you have reviewed the brief from A to Z with your team. Make sure that everyone involved has understood everything outlined in the brief. A kickoff meeting to go over the brief and discuss any emerging issues would be ideal. Making the effort to develop the brief with your colleagues will result in a surer team that can help you successfully execute the project.  

 Approach your brief with a sense of confidence and self-assurance, so that your team feels encouraged and empowered to take on the requested project!
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