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The Importance of Writing a Formal Brief Before Contracting Out a Project to Your Agency

The Importance of Writing a Formal Brief Before Contracting Out a Project to Your Agency

How a formal brief can make or break your project

Having worked for years in various agencies, I have witnessed many projects fail due to a lack of clear direction from clients. In this article, I will discuss the importance of writing a formal brief before contracting out a project to your agency and how it can make or break your project.

The Purpose of a Formal Brief

A formal brief is a document that outlines the scope and objectives of a project. It provides a roadmap for the agency to follow and ensures that everyone is on the same page from the start. The brief should be as detailed as possible and cover all aspects of the project, including timelines, budget, target audience, goals, and expectations. By providing a clear and concise brief, the client can ensure that the agency has a full understanding of the project’s requirements, resulting in a successful outcome.

The Benefits of Writing a Formal Brief

Writing a formal brief before contracting out a project to your agency has many benefits. Firstly, it helps to eliminate any misunderstandings that may arise between the client and the agency. The brief provides a clear outline of the project requirements, which helps to avoid any miscommunication or confusion. This can save time and money in the long run, as any misunderstandings can lead to costly revisions and delays.

Secondly, a formal brief ensures that the agency has a clear understanding of the project’s goals and objectives. This allows them to tailor their work to meet the client’s needs and produce the desired outcome. Without a clear understanding of the project requirements, the agency may waste time and resources on the wrong approach, resulting in a less-than-satisfactory outcome.

Thirdly, a formal brief helps to establish accountability between the client and the agency. By outlining the project’s requirements, the client can hold the agency accountable for meeting the project’s objectives. This ensures that the agency is delivering the work that was agreed upon, and if not, it provides a clear framework for addressing any issues that may arise.

What to Include in a Formal Brief

A formal brief should be comprehensive and cover all aspects of the project. The following are some of the key elements that should be included:

  1. Project goals and objectives
  2. Target audience
  3. Scope of work
  4. Timelines and deadlines
  5. Budget
  6. Deliverables
  7. Brand guidelines
  8. Expectations and requirements
  9. Reporting and communication

Project Goals and Objectives

The project goals and objectives should be clearly defined in the brief. This includes the purpose of the project and what the client hopes to achieve through the project.

Target Audience

The target audience is a critical aspect of any project, and it should be included in the brief. This information provides the agency with a better understanding of who they are trying to reach and allows them to tailor their work accordingly. The target audience should include demographics such as age, gender, location, interests, and behaviours.

Scope of Work

The scope of work should be clearly defined in the brief. This includes the specific tasks that the agency is expected to perform and the deliverables that they will provide. It should also include any limitations or constraints that may affect the project, such as budget or time constraints.

Timelines and Deadlines

The timelines and deadlines should be clearly defined in the brief. This includes the start and end dates of the project, as well as any milestones or deadlines that need to be met. Clear timelines and deadlines help to ensure that the project stays on track and is completed on time.

Budget

The budget should be clearly defined in the brief. This includes the total budget for the project, as well as any specific allocations for different tasks or deliverables. A clear budget helps to ensure that the agency is working within the client’s financial constraints and can help to avoid any unexpected costs or expenses.

Deliverables

The deliverables should be clearly defined in the brief. This includes the specific outputs that the agency is expected to deliver, such as design concepts, website layouts, or marketing campaigns. By defining the deliverables upfront, the client can ensure that the agency is delivering the work that was agreed upon.

Brand Guidelines

The brand guidelines should be included in the brief. This includes any specific branding requirements, such as colour schemes, logos, or font types. By providing the agency with clear brand guidelines, the client can ensure that the project aligns with their overall brand image.

Expectations and Requirements

The expectations and requirements should be clearly defined in the brief. This includes any specific expectations or requirements that the client has for the agency, such as communication methods or progress reporting. By outlining these expectations upfront, the client can ensure that the agency is working to its standards.

Reporting and Communication

The reporting and communication requirements should be included in the brief. This includes how often the agency is expected to provide progress updates and how communication should be conducted. By defining these requirements upfront, the client can ensure that they are kept up-to-date with the project’s progress.

Conclusion

A formal brief is an essential document that can make or break a project. By taking the time to write a comprehensive and detailed brief, clients can ensure that the agency has a full understanding of the project’s requirements, resulting in a successful outcome. The brief provides a roadmap for the agency to follow and ensures that everyone is on the same page from the start. It helps to eliminate any misunderstandings, ensures that the agency has a clear understanding of the project’s goals and objectives, and helps to establish accountability between the client and the agency. By including all the key elements, such as project goals and objectives, target audience, scope of work, timelines and deadlines, budget, deliverables, brand guidelines, expectations and requirements, and reporting and communication, the client can ensure that the agency is working to their standards and delivering the work that was agreed upon. A well-written brief can also help to streamline the project and save time and money in the long run.

Remember, the brief is not a static document. It should be reviewed and updated throughout the project’s lifecycle as necessary to ensure that it remains current and relevant. By taking the time to write a detailed brief and updating it as necessary, clients can ensure that their project is successful and that they achieve their desired outcomes.

Let’s discuss your next project soon. Contact us!

Patrick Michel
Patrick Michel
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