Now first off I want to state that I have learnt this the hard way. There was no epiphany this is just something I’ve learnt by being burnt.

At the start of any project you will try to define the scope of work required. This usually involves defining the deliverables the client needs and breaking these down into the tasks required to deliver them.

Why do this?

What does this involve?

Well I reckon it all boils down to the following:

Now a well written brief should detail all of the above quite clearly.

However, I’ve seen a lot of briefs recently that look more like a wish-list then a strategic document.

How do we address this?

We are honest and direct and rarely take a brief as is.

We analyse it, critique it and pass on our feedback to potential clients.

There is no doubt that this approach may well have compromised our chances of securing a number of contracts.

Then why do it?

Two reasons:

After all you know what can be done, how well it can be done, and how much risk is involved.

As such I see it as our duty to:

If you know a decision they are taking now is going to have long-term implications state them up-front. This is what clients are hiring you for, not just the fulfillment.

Yes, it may be a difficult conversation but if you don’t do this you will certainly come to regret it.

Bottom line it’s better to miss out on a job then find yourself working on one you can’t wait to see the back of.

Not only can you take a financial hit on projects such as these, the impact on your team’s morale can not be underestimated.

François Roshdy

François is director of user experience at Border Crossing UX. He specialises in helping clients continuously improve the experiences they deliver.