There is something about written instructions.
If you talk to someone and ask them to do something that has a lot of detail it can be hard to clearly communicate what it is that you want.
And, if you are receiving verbal instructions, it takes a lot of concentration to take in what you are being told.
Writing something down adds real clarity to your thought process. The simple fact of committing it in pencil, pen or pixels forces you to at least try to make sense of what you are communicating.
But, writing something down, can take a bit more time.
And the problem is that we are all busy – and it is so tempting to take short cuts with what you are writing, and simply cross your fingers that someone will make sense of it.
This is where Flowzone briefs come in.
At their heart, they provide a way of getting written instructions down so that you can communicate clearly what it is that you want to be done.
But then, the person receiving the brief can quickly review it and easily request any clarification or more detail if that’s needed.
Briefs can be very simple. Sometimes, a large text area is all you need.
Or, they can have some structure with various sections that work as a prompt to make you think about each aspect of the project, or job, or task, that you are asking someone or a team to do.
As well as text areas you can add in numeric or currency sections, drop down selectors, tick boxes, dates and much more.
What’s more dispiriting than getting an overly complex or detailed form with sections that aren’t relevant.
So, make your brief forms dynamic. Then by selecting or ticking the bits you need, it will grow or shrink to the perfect size – with all the areas to complete relevant to what you are communicating.
Add colour and graphics
No-one likes a grey form that looks like an exam paper.
So, add a bit of colour and some graphics to guide the eye to where it needs to go.
Why not add in some guidance to help those who are completing a brief to understand what it is that you want more fully?
You can give visual clues as well, for example by setting out the completion space to be a suitable size for the required content.
Briefs for Everything
Here at Flowzone, everything we do starts with a brief. Literally, everything. In fact, this blog article had a brief – an outline of what we wanted to talk about, who we were trying to talk to, and when we wanted to get it out there.
Each of our briefs are relatively simple.
Many of our clients have much more complex briefs.
For example: say you are trying to set out what you want from some creative work. You might want to capture who the audience is, which market it is for, what are the objectives, deliverables (and much more.)
Why not use Word?
The most common briefing platform that we come across is Word documents.
It’s easy to see why people use Word.
It’s super flexible, everyone knows how to use it, and you can create a brief document in no time at all.
That’s the upside.
The downside is the fact that you have to email it out, then get it completed. Then have it emailed back.
Then, of course, email it back with any requests for clarification.
Then wait for it to come back.
Then save it in a folder somewhere.
Then, every time someone needs access to it, get to that folder and open it up.
What if, instead, you shared a link to a digital project brief? All that pain goes away.
And digital briefs are just as flexible.
Why Go Digital with your Briefs?
Imagine you had a system that had a list of all the things that you were working on (and have worked on in the past that have been completed).
A quick filter, and you have the job that you want to see. Click on it, and there is your brief.
With Flowzone that might also be accompanied by other information: such as your project time line; comments that have been made on the project; images, graphics or other assets relevant to the project; how much time has been spent on the project; and much more.
And you can share that brief and collaborate.
Others can add details to additional sections.
For example, if you have a marketing team and a legal team, then each can contribute the parts they need to.
There might be some core information that they share, and it may be that they can read (but not contribute to) each other’s sections.
With Word documents, your audit trail consists of the various versions that are passed around.
With digital briefs, every time someone updates any part of the brief, that gets saved. So, you know exactly who changed what, and when.
Brief Review Process
Sometimes you might need a brief to be checked before it is actioned.
This could be just one person, or it could be a team.
And, in some more complex scenarios it might involve going to different people or teams, one after another with a whole workflow that can guide the brief from initiation to approved.
If you are looking for more flexibility, more functionality and an efficient alternative to Word briefs that can support the way you and your team work, then get in touch with our team today. We have a fully customisable solution: so you can do everything you currently do in Word, but in a way that fits in with the modern collaborative environment.