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How to write a great project brief

14 February 2019
4 minute read

Be clear about what you need to get done, by when and how much you're prepared to pay.

With backgrounds in marketing and advertising, here at MeasureMatch we have a really good grounding in the value of a well-crafted project brief.

There are some key tips and tricks we’d like to share with you which can make all the difference when setting the best project brief possible for consultants or consultancy service partners.

We know that how and what clients communicate to consultants and contractors you are thinking of hiring has a huge impact on what they deliver throughout the life-cycle of a project.  For your service partners to succeed they must have a clearly defined role and set of deliverables over time, which should be set by you in a brief: the most important document of any project.

What a project brief should be:

1. A clear statement of your project objectives and the route they wish to take to meet them.

2. A goal of what success looks like, aligned to your business goals

3. A challenge for the service partner to answer

But surely a project brief is simple? 

Apparently not. In a 2015 IPA / ISBA study on client behaviours, it’s clear that service partners see briefing as a key pressure point. It found that 30% of briefs were just delivered verbally and 75% of suppliers agreed with the statement that “briefs are often changed once the project has started”.

MeasureMatch knows how important it is to create a clear and concise project brief and we’re here to help.

The MeasureMatch project briefing form is designed to ensure you provide a clear and concise summary of your needs which will help potential service partners understand and respond to you quickly with their expressions of interest for your project across some key areas such as being clear on milestones and KPIs from the outset and thinking upfront about the access that’s needed to all required project systems and stakeholders.

So let’s look at how we keep it simple.

Our briefing form is split into easy to complete sections which have been designed to support you craft a great Project brief and get the best service partners expressing interest in your brief. 

There are three core parts to any project brief.

1.  Company overview

Here, we ask you to outline your company sector or type, size and locality and the work you and your team do within it. 

Sharing this information is important because it helps provide context 
for the Expert.

MeasureMatch tip: Set the scene for the project.

It’s worth noting that there’s a handy checkbox if you don’t want your company details shared with the MeasureMatch network because of confidentiality needs.

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2. Project overview

In this section, you should outline the project to give those consultants / consultancies viewing your project brief a clear overview. You should include a title for your project; a top-line, punchy few words that communicate the project clearly to the service partners you're looking for.

MeasureMatch tip: Think of it as what you need help with.

You should also include some detail about your project. Explain the goals and intended outcomes; for you, your team, your business and - if relevant - your client(s).

This helps fill in the gaps for those reading it.

3. Project brief specifics

Being specific about your project brief gives you the opportunity to dig into a little more detail about your Project. The more detail you provide, the more those reading it will understand. There are fields for you to talk about the key skills, tools and technologies you expect the successful service partner to be experienced in and likely to use during the project.

MeasureMatch tip: Be detailed. 

This will help ensure that only well-matched consultants / consultancies express their interest for your project and lessen time wasted by you reviewing profiles that just aren’t quite right.

Getting the detail right early on, saves time later. 

MeasureMatch tip: Think about whether you need someone onsite, or you can connect with them in other ways.

In today's world, more and more projects can be delivered via the human cloud, meaning service partners from anywhere in the country, the region or even the globe could be the right person to help you. 

We ask you to consider if you need a consultant in your office all of the time, some of the time –maybe for key meetings or to work with specific team members – or not at all.The more flexible you are about this, the more service partners will be able to submit their interest.

We have also added a handy upload field where you can include further project documents but bear in mind these will be view-able by all the experts on our platform if they choose to view the project brief, so make sure there’s nothing confidential there. Only share what you want all our network to see.

4. Timing and budget

Try to be as accurate as you can when forecasting project timings and budget. This will help ensure that only service partners who are both available when you need them and happy to complete the project for the budget you have signed off, will apply.

If you’re a bit unsure on how long the Project will take or how much you should be paying an Expert to deliver it, you can always check the “I’m not sure” box. Wait for Expressions of Interest from Experts and ask them to propose a length and fee.

It’s ok not to know all the time and cost details.

MeasureMatch tip: it’s worth ensuring you have had the business case approved within your organisation before posting a project brief to the MeasureMatch platform. 

We’re only looking to match our network with clients for signed-off opportunities, but if you have a project that’s not fully formed just drop us a line – we’re here to talk!Only post projects you can pay for.

5. Review and submit

Lastly, make sure you review what you have written about your project and make any changes or additions you feel are needed to the project brief before submitting it to the MeasureMatch team for review. Check before you post.

We hope you have found our best practice on creating a project brief helpful. 

Remember, always dedicate proper time to a project brief. It’s the piece of work you need to do that will enable your chosen service partner to secure your business the best project outcome possible!

Emma Marlow, MeasureMatch Co-Founder & COO

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