Problem Definition or Project Brief

The Project Brief for a design team describes the intentions of the design team.  It is suitable for distribution to potential customers, potential suppliers, upper management and project sponsors.   At the beginning of a project, the design team, upper management and the sponsor should all review and approve the team’s brief.  The following are parts of a charter:

Sponsor – Identify the name of the sponsor, the job title of the sponsor, the organization of the sponsor and their contact information.  Indicate what form of communication the sponsor prefers, for example some sponsors may prefer communicating by email whereas others may prefer a phone call.

Product Benefits – Identify what the product will do for the customer.  (See Link for more details)

Definition of the Target Market – Define who is most likely to buy the product.  (See Link for more details)

Buyer Type Model – Determine who is involved in the purchasing decision for your product.  (See Link for more details)

Value Proposition – Define and quantify why people in the target market will buy your products. (See Link for more details)

Competition – Describe the ways people in the target market achieve the benefits of your product now. (See Link for more details)

Assumptions – Identify the assumptions the project sponsor has made.  (See Link for more details)

Scope Limitations – Outline the facts about your project that limit the scope of your project.  You can not solve every problem your sponsor faces.  (See Link for more details)

Avenues for Innovation and Creativity – Describe where your team will focus their creativity to design an innovative product.  (See Link for more details)

Project objectives-What do you want to accomplish and when do you intend to finish the project. What will be the final deliverables to the project sponsor? What will the sponsor do with your deliverables?   What does the sponsor intend to do with the deliverables? In other words, why is the sponsor supporting the project?

Example of a Project Brief: The power wheelchair trainer project

A Microsoft Word form for a project brief can be downloaded here. 


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