Starting a new digital project is an exciting time! You may have a strong and clear vision and are raring to go. Or you may have some vague ideas but need expert guidance to paint a clearer picture. Either way, one thing is for sure. If the project is large enough, you will need to write an assignment.
In this blog post, we’ll explain how to write a brief for your digital agency, and provide a free briefing template to get you started.
What is a digital assignment and why does it matter?
In the simplest terms, a digital brief is a document that tells your agency what you need. If you’re making simple changes, like adding a video to your home page, a written command is probably too much. But in any scenario where the work is significant and a level of consultation is required, a digital brief will be a valuable asset.
Benefits of a well-thought-out briefing process include:
You will help your agency partner understand your ‘why’
This is especially important if you are working with a new agency that needs to get to know your company. Make sure you consider and explain your ‘why’ before delving into the ‘what’.
You’ll make sure your team is on the same page
If you work within a team, it’s natural that different areas in your organization will have different goals. However, it can become a problem if that goals are conflicting, with multiple people approaching the same project with different agendas. A clear brief keeps everyone aligned with the business strategy.
You will save time communicating with your agency
Putting your requirements in a clear brief will save you loads of time in the long run. It’s an easy reference point that captures and communicates your project goals. Without a written brief, you are likely to waste time in unnecessarily long meetings.
You may come up with new ideas and solutions
Rushing the information process can lead to missed opportunities. Take time to properly consider what you are trying to achieve. You may find that this leads to new solutions that you might not have otherwise considered.
You will get a better return on your investment
Considering all the benefits described above, it’s a no-brainer that a clear digital mandate will lead to smarter use of your budget.
How to write an assignment
We know what an assignment is and how it can benefit your business, so let’s get on with preparing to write it.
Engage relevant stakeholders
If you work within a team, writing a digital assignment is rarely a one-person task. Avoid tunnel vision by making sure you talk to stakeholders from across your organization.
For example, say you are writing an assignment for redeveloping your websitewith the aim of increasing sales.
For your marketing team, the most important goal may be the ability to include product reviews. But your customer service team could really appreciate an automated chatbot.
Be sure to consider their different needs and capture the bigger picture in your brief.
Make your goals clear
Before writing your assignment, make sure you have had discussions with your team about the following:
● Why is this project important to us?
● Why are we doing this now?
● How does it fit into our business strategy?
● Are we trying to solve an existing problem, or are we embracing a new opportunity? ● Who is our project owner? Does this person have the authority to make decisions? ● Who is our target audience? Have we identified our buyer personas? ● How much can we invest in this project?
● When do we need to complete this work and why?
● What is important to us when choosing an agency partner?
Don’t be too solution oriented
Some project briefs can be too rigid in their assumptions about the best way forward. As above, it’s great to be clear about your goals. But it is important to leave enough flexibility to find the right solution.
Rather than leading the answers, let your agency partner do the work! Their expert knowledge can find a better way using technology you haven’t considered.
Be upfront about your budget
Some clients prefer to take a cautious approach and keep their cards close to their chest when it comes to ‘the budget question’.
But keeping your budget a secret probably won’t help.
At Bravo, we like clients to be as clear as possible about their budget, as early as they can.
We want to present an appropriate and realistic response to your brief – one that meets your expectations within the available means. If we know your budget, we can do this and make an informed consultation about the best steps forward.
Be realistic about your timeline
Once you have an idea of what you need, it’s normal to want to see results as soon as possible. But there is probably a process of steps that you will need to take with your agency to ensure that your brief is fulfilled as well as it can be.
Trust your agency partner when they give you an idea of how long a project will take. Their estimate is likely based on years of experience to give a realistic reflection of the scope of work required.
And if you have a looming deadline, let your agency know. There may be things you can do, such as dividing the project into phases or cutting out non-essential tasks to make things move faster.
What to include in your brief
Okay, let’s get into the details. Here is the information you should include in your project brief:
● Background and objectives – Communicate the business need for this project. Describe the problem you are trying to solve or the opportunity you are trying to seize.
● Heard – Identify your key audiences and provide as much detail as you have. This may include buyer persona information and links to any existing market research. Consider their expected user journey when interacting with your digital product or service.
● Requirements – Outline your core project requirements at a high level. Think about what functionality you expect to see.
● Integrations – Identify any external or third-party systems your project will need to connect to. State whether this is new to you or existing systems you are working with.
● Inspiration – Include links to other websites, products or services that inspire you. Let your agency know what you like!
● Timeline – Make it clear what timeline you are working towards and why. If you have any hard deadlines, make sure you include them.
● Budget – Write down the available budget for this project. If you’re not sure of the final budget, try giving an approximate budget range to narrow things down.
Get your digital brief template now!
We hope you found this article helpful in understanding why a digital assignment is important, how to prepare for writing one, and what you should make sure to include.
To make your life easier, we have prepared a free briefing template for you. Use it to capture the right information in a clear and concise manner.