A Project Brief is used to provide a full and firm foundation for Initiating a Project and is created in the Starting up a Project process. In the Initiating a Project process, the contents of the Project Brief are extended and refined in the Project Initiation Documentation , after which the Project Brief is no longer maintained.
The Project Brief is derived from: A project mandate supplied at the start of the project; Programme management - if the project is part of a programme, the Project Brief is likely to be supplied by the programme, and therefore it will not have to be derived from a project mandate; Discussions with corporate management regarding corporate strategy and any policies and standards that apply; Discussions with the Project Board and users if the project mandate is incomplete or if no project mandate is provided; Discussions with the operations and maintenance organization (if applicable); Discussion with the (potential) suppliers regarding specialist development lifecycles that could be used; Lessons Log.
A Project Brief can take a number of formats, including: Document or presentation slides; Entry in a project management tool.
The following quality criteria should be observed:
- It is brief because its purpose at this point is to provide a firm basis on which to initiate a project. It will later be refined and expanded as part of the Project Initiation Documentation
- The Project Brief accurately reflects the project mandate and the requirements of the business and the users
- The project approach considers a range of solutions, such as: bespoke or off-the-shelf; contracted out or developed in-house; designed from new or a modified existing product
- The project approach has been selected which maximizes the chance of achieving overall success for the project
- The project objectives, project approach and strategies are consistent with the organization’s corporate social responsibility directive
- The project objectives are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART).