Web Development

How To Provide a Good Project Brief

How To Provide a Good Project Brief

The advantages of a design brief

A project brief is a written explanation given by the client to the designer at the outset of a project. As the client, you are spelling out your objectives and expectations and defining a scope of work when you issue one. You’re also committing to a concrete expression that can be revisited as a project moves forward. It’s an honest way to keep everyone honest. If the brief raises questions, all the better. Questions early are better than questions late.

Another benefit of the design brief is the clarity it provides you as the client about why you’re embarking on a project. If you don’t know why, you can’t possibly hope to achieve anything worthwhile. Nor are you likely to get your company behind your project.

A brief can be as valuable internally as it is externally. If you present it to the people within the company most directly affected by whatever is being produced, you not only elicit valuable input, but also pave the way for their buy-in. When you think about it, the last thing you want is for your project to be a test of the designer’s skills. Your responsibility as a client is to help the design firm do the best work it can. That’s why you hired the firm. And why you give it a brief.

Project Brief Outline

Giving your designer a clear direction and setting everyone on the same page is the first step to a successful project.

  1. PROJECT OVERVIEW: What is the purpose of your project and what is the scope?
  2. PROJECT GOAL: Relate the objectives to overall company positioning
  3. PROJECT OBJECTIVES: Why is this project important? What are you trying to achieve? A clear statement of objectives includes a S.M.A.R.T :-
    • Specific: What will be accomplished? What actions take?  Setting vague goals that don't lead to anything specific is pointless.
    • Measurable: What data will measure the goal? How much? How well? Once you have a clear goal in mind, it's important to be able to measure the success or completion of the goal. This does not have to be on a traditional scale or statistic. It only needs to be measurable in some way.
    • Achievable: Is the goal doable? Do you have the necessary skills and resources? Setting realistic goals is easier when you use data, analytics, and research as your guides.
    • Relevant: How does the goal align with broader goals? Why is the result important? It's important that any goals set for teams or individuals are related to the company's overall goals.
    • Time Bound: What is the time frame for accomplishing the goal? Goals need to have a time frame. Setting a deadline too far in the future for a simple task, or an unrealistically short deadline for something complex and time-consuming, is counterproductive.
  4. TARGET AUDIENCE: Who are your target audience: define, characterize and prioritize your audiences. The more specific, the better.
  5. AVAILABLE BUDGET: What is the overall budget available to invest for project? Which tasks to prioritize first? How should it be spent?
  6. STAKEHOLDERS: Explain the internal approval process, e.g. who is the decision maker, the number of people will be working with.
  7. SETTING A REALISTIC DEADLINE: Before setting a deadline, we would need the following details:-
    • Complete Client Materials will be provided to designer by {duration/date}
    • Client response time: How long can we expect a response from you to move forward with the next task?

Source: https://www.aiga.org/sites/default/files/2021-04/standard-form-of-agreement-for-design-services.pdf

Statement of Work (SOW)

A detailed SOW contains the following in the project brief.

  1. Scope: A detailed description of the product to be produced.
  2. Project Goal: Is S.M.A.R.T
  3. Deliverables: These are the project output, including elements like software or documents.
  4. Acceptance Criteria: These are the criteria by which the consumers will readily accept the product as it satisfies their expectations.
  5. Exclusions: These elements are outside of the project’s boundaries.
  6. Constraints: These include resource, organizational, political, technological, and any other constraints that affect performance.
  7. Assumptions: These are conditions accepted to be true for your project to function smoothly—for example, the availability of employees when required.
  8. Milestones: Significant stages in a project’s timeline where crucial events occur.
  9. Agreement: This shows stakeholders’ sign-off at the end of the statement, indicating their support.


Project Brief

  1. Project
  2. Target Audience
  3. Purpose
  4. Current Problems
  5. Goals
  6. Scope
  7. Deliverables
  8. Success Criteria
  9. Stakeholders
  10. Budget
  11. Tools
  12. People


Statement of Work

Project: Company ABC eCommerce website

Scope:To develop an online store where business-to-business clients in the oil and gas sector can quickly and easily place bulk orders and get quotes for those purchases.

Purpose & Goal: 
To eliminate manual ordering process, increase sales and also manage order cancellations and refunds by allowing our clients to order directly from our website.

Person in charge
1. Who is responsible to provide materials: 
2. Decision maker: responsible for making decisions and giving feedbacks.

1. Stock images
2. B2b ecommerce plugin
3. Google Analytics
4. Webhosting and domain name
5. Custom email
6. SSL enhanced security for ecommerce
7. Google Captcha

Acceptance Criteria: 
1. Customer can make an order, complete payment, request cancellation and view order history.
2. Website loading less than 3 seconds
3. No spam registration

Exclusions: what is not included in the project
1. Proofreading
2. Data-entry
3. Product photo editing
4. Image compression service
5. Payment gateway
6. Web Maintenance

Project Management Process 
Phase 1: Initiating
Phase 2: Planning
Phase 3: Executing
Phase 4: Monitoring & Controlling
Phase 5: Closing

Estimate Timeline
1.Total Hours (excluding Client’s time): xx hours
2.Deadline: dd/mmm/yy

Payment Terms: 
Deposit 50%: First payment upon acceptance, final payment due before site push to live and handover of web ownership.