Starting with a clear brief is the first step to a successful project, whether that is a website build, a training simulation or any kind of web application. It makes life a lot easier in the long run to get it right first time – and time is money! There are many articles and brief templates out there that are a good starting place, however there a couple of things that seem to always get missed or thought about later on the project that should be considered up front.
So here are Makemedia’s suggested top 5 items you may have forgotten to include in your brief.
1, What is your content strategy?
Although it’s important to consider what your website will do and who it aimed towards, many brief writers forget to consider the nitty gritty of content. Who will export the content from the old site or who will be writing your new content? Do you need to use an external provider for copy writing or to review SEO quality? Will all the copy be ready by the go live date? What are your deadlines? A web build that is held up by late content is going to eat away at your budget.
2, What is your mobile strategy?
It can be a mistake to jump on the “lets-build-an-app” bandwagon without considering the true needs of your business. Clients need to consider their own unique aims, then how these would be best served. This may be by building an app OR a responsively designed website may serve these needs better. What is essential is that you consider your mobile strategy to extend the relevant life period of your investment and remain competitive.
3, Who is really the decision maker?
If you don’t clarify who really has the sign off on the project there is a strong chance you will be wasting your time and budget later on. Imagine the following scenario. The head of department gives a department manger the responsibility to sign off phases of the project. The manager is happy with a phase and signs it off. However, when the head of department sees it later they want changes. To implement the changes at this stage is far more costly than to have done it before the sign off where time is built in for amendments. Either the manager needs to have full culpability for the project or the head of department needs to be identified as the true decision maker.
4, Don’t be shy about your budget.
You might not want to give an exact figure but even a ball park range will help to identify that you are approaching the right size of agency and set expectations. Having a full proposal written up for you from an agency that is far too expensive or not well resourced enough to serve your needs will waste time on both sides. The scope of what you want to do could be highly varied with many different possible solutions but a good agency will give you the best possible solution to fit your budget – and they will want to work with you again in future so giving you the best value is in their interest too!
5, Keep aims and objectives clear throughout the development of the scope.
Your brief should communicate clear business objectives and the critical success factors for the project. Anything added to the scope should lead back to these aims. Have a colleague read through your brief to check that it is clear and concise. Are you communicating what you are trying to achieve to a new potential supplier who hasn’t got to know the business fully yet? Naturally, a good agency will be practiced in extracting this information but it will save you time during that process. Save even more time by ensuring that your internal team all understand the project aims so you can relax in the knowledge that your team are communicating your needs correctly.
Please do add your tips in the comments!
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