Creating the brief and setting objectives
Hopefully you’ve chosen the agency you want to work with and set up the first meeting. Now’s the time to get your ducks in a row regarding what you actually want them to achieve.
You may justifiably be wondering how to write a detailed brief. Let’s first have a look at the process most digital agencies follow when it comes to project planning.
The brief is usually the starting point, outlining what you want to achieve in a broad sense. Often this is done without input from the agency but if you are not sure, speak to them about it.
For it to become a document which accurately defines the scope of a project, the agency and client have to work on a project plan together which supersedes the brief. The project plan sets expectations and helps avoid the project going out of scope.
To be ready for production to start, the project plan should contain:
- Detailed description of functionality and specification
- The project team
To get to this stage it would ideally need input from:
- the client
- agency account/project manager, designer & developer
Have a meeting with as many of your company’s managers and decision-makers as you can before you draw up your brief to see what each one would like to achieve and what suggestions they have. Cross off ideas that simply wouldn’t be worthwhile and prioritise the others, even if you’re not sure you want to do them all. When you meet with the agency to discuss the brief, they will have a clear understanding of what your business intends to achieve and can help to further prioritise your lists, perhaps even removing some options that wouldn’t be needed. Setting objectives and planning the project becomes fairly straightforward from this point onwards.
Remember to ask the agency project manager for information regarding what each team member’s role is and what will be involved in them achieving their objectives. For example, if a designer will be involved, find out how complex a required design element is and how long it would take to complete. Having this information at hand will also help you realise how much extra work and cost will be involved in any change you might want to make further down the line.
Our fourth article in this series will give suggestions on how to manage the project once it’s under way.
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