What is a Project Brief and Why Do I Want One?

September 7, 2020


One part Scope of Work. One part pre-proposal. All around fresh perspective. The Germinate Project Brief is a short overview that aims to capture the goals, business drivers, and scope of a potential idea.

The Project Brief started as an internal-only document. It was our way of sharing a new project with our team, to get everyone on the same page. We realized if it is useful to us, it may be useful to others. We also found it helpful to offer counterpoints and recommendations in writing, before we set a project in motion. A project at this stage may go in any number of directions, so here is a chance to paint pictures of multiple possibilities. So you can know ‘what’s behind door number one, two and three’ before you open any of them.

The Project Brief is a way for us both to test drive working together. For each of us to see how we think, and how we work. It often serves as a ‘pre-proposal’, which makes any actual proposal better informed.

Most Project Briefs contain the following sections:

Business Drivers
How will the app or idea make the users into heroes? How will it move the business forward? What will it be like once this app is real and wildly successful? Paint a picture

Scope of Work
What will the app actually do? What will it look like? What are critical features we’ll need to develop. The Scope of Work (SOW) is high level at this point, and the goal is to gain consensus on priorities.

Sometimes this section articulates multiple alternatives, especially if the goal is to create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

This is also the place to outline technology and design considerations.

Project Approach
Our philosophy is consistent: 1. Technology in Service, 2. As Simple as possible, but no simpler, and 3. Design matters. What may change is our approach. How we APPLY the philosophy. We’ll line up specific methods and activities that we believe will help this project.

Cost Considerations and Timeline
While it may be too early to talk budget, we’ll start thinking about it here. We may be able to offer a range. And if you are working with a fixed budget, we’ll start thinking about how best to use the money to achieve your goals.

If possible, we address timing goals, challenges, and a rough idea of how long we think the project will take.

Any ideas, thoughts, concerns that we haven’t already worked into the brief go here. This is our first chance to challenge your thinking, offer counterpoints and spark a conversation.

The Project Brief is yours to keep in any case. Should it make sense for us to move forward together, it becomes a great starting point for a successful project. All it takes to to get one is to meet with us and tell us about your project. Get Started.