When writing a brief for your software development project, there are some things that you must consider. Keep in mind that you will be presenting your brief to your team, potential investors, and other important people, so you must make it the best you can and show your professionalism with it. Here is an outline for your project brief.
The overview is the first of the four main sections of your brief. The overview must explain what the project is and talks about its aim. You must include an explanation of the business problem your project solves or the goal it achieves. The goals of the overview to be a kind of a bird’s-eye view of the project.
It’s okay if you only have rough outlines and expectations instead of preset results. You should still include these predictions as long as you are able to support them by calculations and possible similar examples from other software development projects. Of course, the more practical information you can include, the better.
Make sure you know the answers to all of these questions when writing your brief:
- What is the main goal of your software? It doesn’t matter whether it’s a mobile app or a desktop program, you must know the main goal of the software you are developing.
- What are the software’s primary functions? Make sure that you know what the primary functions of your software are. These will usually be closely related to the main goal.
- What are the platforms of your project? You might be developing merely an online tool or creating a full pack of options with Android and iOS apps, several desktop versions, and so on.
- What is your budget? You will elaborate on it later, but be sure to include rough figures in the overview anyway.
- What is your deadline? You don’t have all the time in the world to create your software, so have a schedule with deadlines for each stage of development.
- Do you have mockups and wireframes? Considering you decided to start writing a brief, you probably already have some mockups and wireframes, so make sure to include them.
The next part to include in your brief is a section with requirements for your software development project. Even though it may seem very similar to the next section, these two parts are actually different.
The requirements of your project are very important as you will be describing the tools you need for starting the work. These will include the tools you will need at every stage of development, so make sure you include even the smallest details.
Along with the tools you will need, be sure to mention all the members of your team that will be working on the software. Maybe it’s only you and your friend or maybe it’s a group of thirty professionals. You must describe every position and what each person does.
Don’t go into details about your budget in this section though. Along with that, don’t go into specifics just yet as these will be elaborated on in the third part of your software development project brief.
Use these tools and services to help you write your software development project brief:
- Grammarly: This tool checks your text for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.
- Trust My Paper: This online writing service is perfect for hiring a professional to write your project instead of you.
- Hemingway Editor: This tool highlights adverbs, passive voice, and complicated sentences asking you to get rid of them.
- Studicus: This is another great online writing service you can opt for if you want someone else to write your project.
- Google Docs: This online equivalent of Microsoft Office Word allows you to share documents and edit them in real-time. This is especially valuable for teams.
This section is perhaps the biggest one in your brief as it goes into the details of the general ideas you described in the overview. Here’s what you must include:
- Core Ideas: The core ideas of your include both your project’s aims and the things that will be done first in the process of developing your software. Talk about what your software’s target audience is. If you have a customer persona, then it will be easy for you to do this. Talk about your inspirations. What other software projects were you inspired by? You will also have to talk about your competitors. Every project has them, and you must be able to inform your potential investors about them. Be true to yourself and don’t lie to them. This may be something you will forget at first, but talking about a monetization strategy for your software is essential if you want investors to take you seriously. In addition to all of the above, outline your first steps in software development.
- Secondary Ideas: Core ideas must be supplemented by secondary ideas and things that can be dealt with later. These are the things you will be doing after your first stage of development. Keep in mind that they are still as important as the initial steps you make, so be sure to describe them as thoroughly. You can include some possible additional features of your software that you have been considering but haven’t decided on yet.
- Sketches, Diagrams, & Wireframes: These are not mandatory if you added them to the overview, but it’s still great to add them again. They will be a visual representation of your plans helping your potential investors or partners imagine your future actions better. You can include such things as wireframes, sketches, diagrams, mockups, logos, images, graphic designs, and so on.
- Internal Systems: In case there are any internal systems that should be integrated, you must explain them. This is not a mandatory part though, so if you think that you won’t need them, feel free to leave out internal systems.
- Project Platforms: You already briefly mentioned these in the overview, and now is the time to go into details. If you are making both a mobile app and a desktop program, make sure you create designs for both of them. If the iOS and Android versions will have any differences, talk about them. Don’t forget that you may have a free demo version and a paid one. Will the paid version include a one-time purchase or require a monthly subscription? Maybe you want your app to have paid options but be free in general. Think all of this through carefully.
Last but not least, this part describes the delivery of your project. You will need to include such things as the project timeline, possible restrictions, and your budget. All of these should be described with great detail to make sure that your investors know that you are serious about your project.
Make a timeline of what you will be doing and when. Set supply dates for each stage. The more details you include, the better. Set deadlines, both general ones and for each separate stage. Following these deadlines later during the development stage itself will make you look professional.
You may know of some possible or current restrictions. Make sure to include these in this section for your investors to be informed about. You must have solutions or counter actions you are planning to start in order to solve these problems or get around the restrictions.
Lastly, talk about the budget. Keep in mind that this is the most painful topic for your potential investors as the main goal of your software development project brief is to persuade them to invest their money in your work. You will have to be very convincing for your brief to have a positive outcome.
Don’t be afraid to include any risks either as well as unexpected bills. At some point or the other, you may find yourself in a situation where you will have to spend more money than you originally planned to, so make sure that you have a bigger budget that will cover these.
Finish your brief in a logical way, summing everything up and leading up to the budget. Try to make the transition as smooth as possible, but don’t hide any essential details. Be open – this will show that you have nothing to hide and that you are not a fraud.
All in all, writing a brief for a software development project is not difficult once you know which parts you have to include and how you must do it. Follow the tips in this article and write a great brief for your project.
Diana Nadim is a writer and editor who has a Master degree in Marketing. She combines her passion for writing with her interest in research and creates thought-provoking content in various fields. Besides working as a contributor writer for GrabMyEssay, Diana also runs her own 3to5Marketing blog. What inspires her the most in her writing is traveling and meeting new people. Follow her on Twitter.