What is a Project Brief?

Starting today, I will create a series of posts about UX, project, and product management documents and deliverables that are used for planning and developing an application or website. This time, I would like to discuss the project brief.

After meeting with the stakeholders and understanding what the project is about with the expectations that need to be met, there is enough information to create a document a summarizes this data.

The project brief is a small document that is usually one to five pages and provides the project’s overall requirements. Different organizations and professionals have other names for basically the same document. Some might call it a creative brief, design brief, development brief, website brief, etc. So, when you change jobs, you might see the term and can be used interchangeably in most cases.

The project brief allows all the parties involved to communicate clearly and be on the same page about the project. It helps us to understand the project requirements to accomplish once it is finished. This document is a summary of the deliverables that will be created that will satisfy all the stakeholders. Also, we will use the project brief as a starting point for other documents in our project. For instance, personas, tasks, scenarios, competitive matrix, etc.

What a project brief should contain?

This is another part where the content varies depending on the project and organization. However, you could start adding the following sections to your project as needed.

  • Project Name – The name of the project or application to build.
  • Organization – The company or customer that the product is going to be created for.
  • Project Sponsor – The contact to answer questions about the project.
  • Business needs – What the project is solving about the business.
  • Users – The target audience of the product.
  • Goals – What they expect from this project to accomplish.
  • Tasks and Scenarios – The actions that users will be performing on the application or website.
  • Scope – The features included and not included in the application.
  • Acceptance Criteria – What requires to be completed before the sponsor accepts this product.
  • Success Measures – The expectations from this product. For example, increasing sales by 15%.
  • Competitors – List of the main competitors.

You can download this Project Brief Template and use it as a starting point for your projects.

Teylor Feliz
Teylor Feliz

Teylor is a seasoned generalist that enjoys learning new things. He has over 20 years of experience wearing different hats that include software engineer, UX designer, full-stack developer, web designer, data analyst, database administrator, and others. He is the founder of Haketi, a small firm that provides services in design, development, and consulting.

Over the last ten years, he has taught hundreds of students at an undergraduate and graduate levels. He loves teaching and mentoring new designers and developers to navigate the rapid changing field of UX design and engineering.

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