Briefs, sometimes referred to as requests, are a great way to collect and store information related to your work. This article will explain how Briefs are used, how to create them and link them to active work, and outline the relationship between Briefs and the Client Portal.
A Brief Overview
Briefs are composed of a series of pre-set questions to be answered and you can have multiple Brief templates in your Function Point system to suit various needs.
Some examples of types of Brief templates and their uses are as follows:
- Client Intake Brief: This Brief would be created upon signing a new customer to make sure you have all the information you need from and about them.
- Pre-Work/Work Request Brief: This Brief would be created before you create an Estimate in FP, as a way to gather the important and necessary information you need in order to start work.
- Creative Brief: This Brief can be created either before or during the work process to allow you to collect information specifically relevant to a creative deliverable.
- Post-Work Brief: This Brief would be created once work is complete as a way to keep track of information such as lessons learned and key takeaways.
To learn about setting up Brief Templates, check out this article: Creating Brief Templates
Adding a New Brief
Once you've created Brief templates in your FP system, you're ready to start adding Briefs. To create a new Brief that is unrelated to existing work in your system, go to Briefs > Add Brief.
From this page, fill in as many fields as you can. Fields marked in blue need to filled in to create Brief.
Brief Name: This is how your Brief will be stored in the system. If you create an Estimate from this Brief, this will be the default Estimate name. You can always change the Estimate name after. We recommend having standardized naming conventions for Briefs to make them easier to find later and by other staff.
Brief Type: This dropdown list contains the active templates that you've created in your system. This field determines what questions you'll be prompted to answer for this Brief.
Company: Type in the name of the Company that is your client for this Brief.
Key Contact: This optional field allows you to choose a Contact from your client Company. This name will pull into the Estimate and Job as a key contact.
Description: Enter any useful information related to this Brief. We recommend having conventions for what information is stored in this section. This information will also be the default Estimate description, should you create an Estimate from this Brief.
Status: For a new Brief, leave this as approved. If your internal workflow includes a Brief rejection process, you can change the status to Declined if necessary at a later date.
Budget: Enter a budget if known or applicable.
Delivery Date: Enter the date you expect work to be finished and handed off if known or applicable.
AE: Choose the person in your organization who is in charge of this Brief. This field is often used for the Project Manager or Sales Rep (in the case of CRM Briefs).
Project: This is an optional field that can be filled in if this Brief is related to an existing Project. It can always be filled in later, and will be filled in automatically if an Estimate with a Project is added to this Brief.
Estimate: This is an optional field that can be filled in if this Brief is related to an existing Project. It can always be filled in later, and will be filled in automatically if an Estimate with a Project is added to this Brief.
Office: If your agency only has one office, you don't need to change this field. If your agency has multiple offices, select the one that this work is being done for.
Compensation: Choose how you will charge for the work from the dropdown list.
Click Save when you're ready.
You'll now have the opportunity to fill in questions related to this Brief. The questions that you see are determined by the "Brief Type" you selected on the previous page. Questions marked with an asterisk (*) are mandatory.
Click Save when you're ready.
If there is a second page questions, you'll be prompted to answer those as well.
Click Save when you've completed the second page of questions, and you'll be returned to the Brief's Basic Info page.
Downloading and Printing a Brief
From the Basic Info page, you can download a PDF printout of your Brief to share with individuals either internal or external to your organization. Click Print, and select from the printout options.
You'll see something that looks like the image above. If you have the necessary permissions, you can adjust the appearance and content of this printout, and all others in the Admin section of your system. Check out this article to learn more about adding and customizing printouts: Add a Printout - The Basics
Creating an Estimate from a Brief
For Briefs such as the a pre-work Brief that we created above, you might want to attach an Estimate once you're ready to start work. To do this, find the Brief that you want to add an Estimate to, then click Actions > Add Estimate.
You'll be brought to the Add Estimate page, and see that some fields have already been filled in from the Brief. You can change this information on the Estimate without altering the Brief.
Create the Estimate as you would normally and add a Job when you're ready. For instructions on how to do this, check out this article: Creating an Estimate and Job
Adding a Brief to an Existing Estimate or Job
To create a Brief attached to work you've already started, you can do so directly from the Estimate or Job Page.
From the Estimate, click Add Brief.
From a Job, click Actions > Add Brief.
You can add as many Briefs as you'd like to any given Job or Estimate. You'll be able to find them on the Briefs tab.
Copying an Existing Brief
If there's a Brief in your system that is relevant to more than one Estimate/Job, you can create a copy to attach elsewhere.
Find the Brief that you'd like to copy, then click Actions > Copy Brief.
You'll see a "Copy Answers" checkbox that will be checked automatically.
Note: copying answers will not copy any attached files.
Change any information on this Brief that you'd like, then click Save.
Briefs and the Client Portal
For agencies with the Client Portal add-on, Briefs can be an excellent way to streamline the the work requesting process for your clients.
Go to Admin > Feature Management > Brief Types.
Open the Brief Type that you'd like your clients to use and check off the "Show on Client Portal" checkboxes for either or both of the Brief's pages. This will give your clients the option to select this Brief Type when submitting a request. You can also set a minimum lead time before a requested delivery date.
To learn more about how your clients can use the Client Portal, check out this article: How to Use the Client Portal (for clients)
We hope this article was helpful! For more step-by-step articles, videos, and webinars, check out the rest of our Help Centre. You can also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, concerns, or comments. We're happy to help.