The project brief is a high level summary of the proposed project. It should focus on the "big picture", but should be updated and refined with recommendations by appropriate parties. It can be viewed as a "who, what, when, where, why, and how." piece of work.
Parts of a Project Brief
- Overview / Purpose / Background: Explains what the project is expected to achieve.
- Organization: Defines the key players and their roles.
- Critical Success Factors Discusses factors, outlined in terms of timelines and vital performance or functionalities, that the project must achieve to be considered a success.
- Related Projects: Explores how any developing initiatives may affect the project or its goals.
- Breakdown/Decomposition: Explains how the project would be segmented into related pieces or phases.
- Why is the project being undertaken? What is the background of the problem or situation that has prompted the organization to go ahead with the project?
- What is required of the project? What are the aims, objectives, and budget available for the project?
- Who is involved in the project? What portions will consultants undertake? What will your in-house staff be responsible for? What in-house staff resources are available? Will the project require day-to-day supervision? Will a steering committee need to be appointed?
- When is the project to start and finish? What are the dates of each phase of the project? Describe a detailed work plan for the project.
- Where is the project to be carried out? What is the scale and scope of the project? Where are the key geographic locations involved?
- How will the project be carried out? What methodology is required to collect and analyze the information? What is the time frame for its completion? What performance indicators will help to monitor and evaluate the project? What is the level of confidentiality for the project and its final report? Who will manage the project and its reporting requirements? Who will prepare the presentation of the final report, and what format and level of detail is required? Who will retain ownership and copyright of the final report and working papers?