Bad Briefs

BY Kevin Abraham 23.04.18

In my last article, I tried to make the point that a bad brief is just asking for project troubles.

In that mode, here are a few types that might resonate with you:

The Hairsplitter: A brief so minutely described, and restrictive, that it’s really a wonder that the client actually trusts anyone else other than himself to do the job.

The Shotgun: Here, the client doesn’t actually have a clear idea of what he wants, and can’t articulate it. All options are open, with no discernable pointer as to the destination.

The Meander: When the brief changes direction continuously as the client gets new ideas. Closely related to the Creep, where new inspiration means adding more and more requests to the original one.

The Mixer: Here the client’s brief is so full of unconnected, contradicting info, that it really should be two separate briefs, or more.

The Fantasist: The client who expects a huge project at a small project price. Also describes the client who cannot understand why a survey that realistically should take at least several months can’t be completed in time for next week’s Exco meeting.

My point being that sometimes it is worthwhile giving the research pro the opportunity and leeway to assist in laying out the brief in a clear manner that offers both parties an unambiguous insight into what is required.

That means making time to consult and learn from each other; so that concept, design, methodology, and all the other elements are in place to ensure a successful project outcome.

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