Translating ideas and vision into a briefPrint


The brief sets out the aspirations, requirements, parameters and timeline for the project. The brief may cover the whole of the project or just specific elements or phases. This may be because of the specialist skills required or the way the project is funded.


A successful brief will provide clear details of:

  • Goals - the goals of the project and whose goals they are
  • Risks - any known risks and constraints which may affect the project or its delivery
  • Roles and responsibilities - the design team, their roles and responsibilities, and a contact person for the project
  • Decision-making - how the decision-making process will work, lines of communication between parties and approval processes
  • Collaborations - any contributors or collaborative partners involved in the project, as well as the extent and nature of their involvement
  • Mana whenua engagement – seek advice from Council's Te Waka Angamua on which iwi to engage with and any required protocols
  • Community engagement - whether  the local community will be engaged as part of the process, and if so how and to what extent
  • Background - the location of the project, the community and other interested parties, the type of work envisioned, funding sources and requirements and the project's history. Include maps and any other pertinent site information (photos, articles, project programme)
  • Services required – the scope of services, including technical specialists, required to fulfil the project. Be as specific as possible. Make provision for firms to submit additional services that they think may be helpful
  • Timetable and deliverables - be clear about the expected end product and give a timeline for deliverables throughout the process.  The deliverables may be linked to a local board or governing body meeting, consider reporting lead in times to ensure these milestones can be met


    An example of an excellent project brief (written for the Monte Cecilia Park project) can be viewed via the link at the bottom of this page.​

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