The Project Brief provides a way into the project and acts as a first step to producing a Project Initiation Document. This template can be used successfully as the basis of an initial brainstorming session with everyone involved or interested in the project.
The Project Brief sets an agenda for the meeting and acts as a checklist to ensure that discussion covers all the major issues. It’s helpful to issue everyone with a copy of the Brief template and encourage them to think about the issues before the meeting. It’s important to prevent the discussion getting bogged down in any one area of detail. People may struggle with the difference between outcomes and objectives for example, but you’re not aiming for perfection at this stage, just general agreement on the various elements of the project. The outcome of the meeting, as a completed Brief, should be written up by the Project Manager to form the basis of a more developed Project Description.
Project Brief Template
- Outcomes – what difference or impact we hope the project will make
- Objectives – the purpose of the project; what the project will do – must be measurable
- Outline deliverables – the specific things (products) that we will produce
- Scope – what is and isn’t included in the project (users, geographical boundaries, depth and type of work)
- Approach – how we will go about it, our values
- Exclusions – what we won’t do
- Constraints – the things that might prevent us doing all that we want
- Outline business case – needs, benefits, users (numbers), income generation, funding sources, and marketing (budget?)
- Reasons for selecting this solution
- Outline project plan/schedule – timetable
- Quality expectations – including monitoring and performance indicators
- Risk assessment – what could go wrong and what the contingency might be
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