“Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say” – Cheshire Cat

I read a lot of RFPs and Project Briefs and Proposals. These are documents that are meant to define slippery items like “scope” and “deliverables”, but it is alarming to see how often these documents are vaguely and poorly written. Part of this has to do with the fact that they are often written by marketing professionals who believe that “reinforce brand” is a tangible project goal.

Yes, of course your brand will be reinforced. But HOW? and more importantly WHY?

A good project plan starts with some measurable goals. What is this thing (be it a campaign or website or birthday party) supposed to do? What are the top three most important things it will do? Those things should directly relate to the overall goals of the company.

Most companies focus on growth. How can we make more this year than last year? It’s the capitalist way, and to a point it’s an admirable goal – but often people forget to attach numbers and timeslines to it. How many employees? How much revenue? By when? And is growth really a good thing? Sometimes just maintaining stability is a MORE admirable goal than growth.

Out of goals specific requirements can be derived. Maybe one requirement is a blog or a community component. Let me tell you, everyone seems to believe that’s what they need. But is there someone to write this blog? Is there an audience for it? Does it fit your business? I would not say that a blog for a pizza joint is relevant. But hey. If it’s a good blog – people will read it.

All I really want to get across here is: know your goal and describe your requirements clearly and concisely. Vague, jargony language just makes wheels spin. Precise words gain traction.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Mike says:

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