In a physical context, the development of a brief provides the client with sufficient information for the engagement of other members of the design team. And a basis from which they can work.
A good brief contains a needs analysis and a cost benefit analysis. Generally, it contains a cost plan.
In a physical context, site options can be analyzed in a quantifiable way. E.g. a site’s building envelope and the clients needs can be brought together schematically to find a best fit, while looking at the site’s capacity to meet transport needs
In an IT context, it becomes the basis on which develops begin their respective tasks.
Because the brief is usually developed before any of the subsequent tasks are undertaken, the client can be assured that unnecessary commitments are not made.
If the project can not be done within an acceptable time scale or budget, it may not be appropriate to start
A good brief
A good brief clearly sets out the clients requirements. Including the relationships between elements within the system and between the system under consideration and other systems
A good brief also identifies the parameters that will cause changes in the system and/or elements within the system
In our experiencence it appropriate to look at least one level below the level in which change is expected to occur, and one level above to identify factors which may affect change
It is always important to include as many of the factors which may affect change as possible, because there are inevitably some factors which those closer to the operation of a system may overlook.