There’s an old joke, which is an excellent analogy.
My friend said: "Please go to the store and buy a carton of milk and if they have eggs, get six." I came back with six cartons of milk and got asked, "why did you buy six cartons of milk." I replied, "They had eggs."
If we think about what happens after the joke ends: Your friend will accuse you that you did not understand the task and that you have to cover the cost of the five cartons of milk. Furthermore, you will need to head to the store a second time to buy the eggs. The 'client' and the 'contractor' will argue a lot, and the relationship will not be the same.
And it’s not hard to write a good briefing if you focus on some simple questions. If we stick to the example, it could look like this:
What? I’d like to bake a cake.
Why? Because I want to bring it to a friends birthday party.
When? I’d like to bake it tomorrow.
Who is involved? I will bake the cake. You’re getting the necessary ingredients.
What is already provided? I got chocolate, wheat, butter.
What is needed? 1 liter of milk (lactose-free and organic), 6 organic eggs.
What’s the budget? 6 Euros.
There’s evidence that a good briefing is a foundation for a better understanding of the client’s expectations and, therefore, necessary to fulfill them successfully.
And when it’s right for simple tasks, it’s also true for more complex development projects. And the internet is full of templates where clients only need to answer the most relevant questions. And there’s also a further advanced SaaS-Briefing-Tool available. briefing.works is a solution providing templates for all kinds of projects.
The website template of briefing.works, for example, leads the writer through the fields of timing, budget, involved people, technical specs, do’s and don’ts, contents, and software requirements.
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