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Privacy Policy

Project Briefing And “The Project Triangle”

Project brief, design request, scope document, request form, job ticket, etc. All these phrases refer to the document we drop on the development team to start a project. A project that should meet the client's needs with a level of quality.

Set the Stage for Success:

Project brief, design request, scope document, request form, job ticket, etc. All these phrases refer to the document we drop on the development team to start a project. A project that should meet the client's needs with a level of quality.

Back in the day, I worked for a company that actually used a version of the POPAI creative brief. It was comprehensive and frequently came in with nothing filled in except a note to “come see me” from the salesperson. Later, we simplified the “project request form” to a checklist of deliverables: renderings, pricing, prototypes, production, and a line for dates. In both cases, the project manager, design manager, and designer would all sit down with the salesperson to discuss what was needed and ask all the questions. Meeting and discussing is an excellent approach, and a unifying document gives everyone a roadmap for success.

The project triangle:

The Project Triangle: Scope, Cost, Time / Quality

The project triangle is a model of constraints in project management. You’ll often hear “good, fast, or cheap, pick two.” This old quote tries to capture the constraints of the project triangle. The reality is that you don’t actually pick two; you end up choosing priorities; the other doesn’t go away!

Scope, time, and cost directly affect quality, and balancing these constraints creates the best solutions. Focus your efforts on the success criteria to avoid out-of-scope, out-of-time solutions.

“Scope refers to what must be done to produce the project's end result. In this example, it is your solution and the actions to create it. A well-defined project will have success criteria and still leave room for different solutions.

“Time” refers to the amount of time available to complete the project. This includes the development, proposal, and approval processes, as well as the tooling, manufacturing, and shipping times. Holidays, 3rd party approvals, and changes need to be accounted for.

“Cost” is the budgeted amount available for the project. Beware of projects that have no budget. It may be true that a budget wasn’t yet established, but every project has to pay off. Know the retail value of the product moved by the display and plan an appropriate percentage of value.

Use a brief that covers each of these elements to plan early for success:

To get it right, we work in teams, balancing the constraints in the project triangle with a unifying vision. This vision is expressed in the creative brief. Infuse this document with strategy, and don’t just focus on scope without considering time and cost.

Make your briefing short and concise with clear goals, leaving room for different solutions.

A Free Resource:

Most people don’t want to fill out paperwork if they think it’s a waste of time. Lucky for you, we developed a display project brief to help you organize your thoughts into easy-to-digest sections.

Use this link to download a copy for yourself, and read on to learn how to use it. Use our form as is, or steal it and make it your own.

  1. Client section: The team needs to know the person championing the project, what brand and product line they represent, and how to get in touch with them. You may want to include a project number if you use them; that way, you can track projects with all this information.
  2. Project Overview: The Why and What of the Project. These two questions should provide you with a framework for evaluating any proposals. Why are you doing this project now? What do you hope to achieve (and can it be measured)? These are key elements of scope
  3. Location and budget: where you will be installed, how many you will need, and a project budget (The cost components). Skip this at your own risk. If the champion doesn’t have a budget, try to estimate one that makes sense. Think about the payout.
  4. Product details: these practical details will not only help you determine the final size of your project but are also a quick way to help you measure pay-out (divide your cost by your retail value to see a pay-out percentage).
  5. Graphic details: Key visuals, brand guidelines, and assets should be shared. Use links or server locations to give your design team access. Call out the tone, style, and general attributes of the visuals, as well as any specific claims to use.
  6. Audience: Who is the shopper or target of the display? General attributes are good; psychographics or personas are better! We want to know what motivates the shopper.
  7. Timing: is the third element of the project triangle. It is imperative to know the delivery date of the project. Knowing any key dates will help you develop a workback schedule and plan your effort. You will quickly learn how to identify high-risk projects.

Some Final Words of Advice:

By now, you should see how the brief sets the stage for success and builds the project triangle. Share this information with all your team members and update it throughout the project, especially after each client review.

  • Use the scope elements to evaluate your solutions, stay on track, and avoid scope creep. Your design team will appreciate your not being “too prescriptive” in your request, so leave room for experimentation.
  • Timing is everything when it comes to promotions. It is critical to create a workback schedule. Include time for decisions and multiple rounds of changes. Consider market conditions for material sourcing.
  • Having a cost discussion early in the project is the best way to ensure project viability. I’ve seen cases where a budget is provided and quickly reduced, as well as when an idea is so good that the client goes beyond the budget to make it happen. The vast majority of projects stay at or below the stated budget.

There you have it: scope, timing, and budget captured in one document. Keep in mind that this tool is meant to foster high-quality discussion; it will not eliminate meetings; it will make your meetings better.

If you want to talk process, methods, design thinking, or anything else, please reach out; I love to get feedback. “Come see me.”

John Colby
Founder, Display Catalyst LLC

For more information:

Interesting links to people who study the topics of design briefing and the project triangle:
Peter Philips, Creating the Perfect Design Brief: How to Manage Design for Strategic Advantage
Microsoft's take on the project triangle
Villanova University discussion "the iron triangle of project management"

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Privacy Policy  

Last updated: March 09, 2023

This Privacy Policy describes Our policies and procedures on the collection,
use and disclosure of Your information when You use the Service and tells You
about Your privacy rights and how the law protects You.

We use Your Personal data to provide and improve the Service. By using the
Service, You agree to the collection and use of information in accordance with
this Privacy Policy.


Interpretation and Definitions  


The words of which the initial letter is capitalized have meanings defined
under the following conditions. The following definitions shall have the same
meaning regardless of whether they appear in singular or in plural.


For the purposes of this Privacy Policy:

* Account means a unique account created for You to access our Service or
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* Account means a unique account created for You to access our Service or parts of our Service.

* Affiliate means an entity that controls, is controlled by or is under
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 * Company (referred to as either "the Company", "We", "Us" or "Our" in this
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Types of Data Collected  

Personal Data  

While using Our Service, We may ask You to provide Us with certain personally
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Usage Data is collected automatically when using the Service.

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When You access the Service by or through a mobile device, We may collect
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We may also collect information that Your browser sends whenever You visit our
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We use Cookies and similar tracking technologies to track the activity on Our
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Cookies can be "Persistent" or "Session" Cookies. Persistent Cookies remain on
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We use both Session and Persistent Cookies for the purposes set out below:

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The Company may use Personal Data for the following purposes:

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We may share Your personal information in the following situations:

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The Company will retain Your Personal Data only for as long as is necessary
for the purposes set out in this Privacy Policy. We will retain and use Your
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The Company will also retain Usage Data for internal analysis purposes. Usage
Data is generally retained for a shorter period of time, except when this data
is used to strengthen the security or to improve the functionality of Our
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Transfer of Your Personal Data  

Your information, including Personal Data, is processed at the Company's
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or other governmental jurisdiction where the data protection laws may differ
than those from Your jurisdiction.

Your consent to this Privacy Policy followed by Your submission of such
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The Company will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that Your data
is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy and no transfer
of Your Personal Data will take place to an organization or a country unless
there are adequate controls in place including the security of Your data and
other personal information.

Delete Your Personal Data  

You have the right to delete or request that We assist in deleting the
Personal Data that We have collected about You.

Our Service may give You the ability to delete certain information about You
from within the Service.

You may update, amend, or delete Your information at any time by signing in to
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allows you to manage Your personal information. You may also contact Us to
request access to, correct, or delete any personal information that You have
provided to Us.

Please note, however, that We may need to retain certain information when we
have a legal obligation or lawful basis to do so.

Disclosure of Your Personal Data  

Business Transactions  

If the Company is involved in a merger, acquisition or asset sale, Your
Personal Data may be transferred. We will provide notice before Your Personal
Data is transferred and becomes subject to a different Privacy Policy.

Law enforcement  

Under certain circumstances, the Company may be required to disclose Your
Personal Data if required to do so by law or in response to valid requests by
public authorities (e.g. a court or a government agency).

Other legal requirements  

The Company may disclose Your Personal Data in the good faith belief that such
action is necessary to:

 * Comply with a legal obligation
 * Protect and defend the rights or property of the Company
 * Prevent or investigate possible wrongdoing in connection with the Service
 * Protect the personal safety of Users of the Service or the public
 * Protect against legal liability

Security of Your Personal Data  

The security of Your Personal Data is important to Us, but remember that no
method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage is
100% secure. While We strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect
Your Personal Data, We cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Children's Privacy  

Our Service does not address anyone under the age of 13. We do not knowingly
collect personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 13.
If You are a parent or guardian and You are aware that Your child has provided
Us with Personal Data, please contact Us. If We become aware that We have
collected Personal Data from anyone under the age of 13 without verification
of parental consent, We take steps to remove that information from Our

If We need to rely on consent as a legal basis for processing Your information
and Your country requires consent from a parent, We may require Your parent's
consent before We collect and use that information.

Links to Other Websites  

Our Service may contain links to other websites that are not operated by Us.
If You click on a third party link, You will be directed to that third party's
site. We strongly advise You to review the Privacy Policy of every site You

We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy
policies or practices of any third party sites or services.

Changes to this Privacy Policy  

We may update Our Privacy Policy from time to time. We will notify You of any
changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on this page.

We will let You know via email and/or a prominent notice on Our Service, prior
to the change becoming effective and update the "Last updated" date at the top
of this Privacy Policy.

You are advised to review this Privacy Policy periodically for any changes.
Changes to this Privacy Policy are effective when they are posted on this

Contact Us  

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, You can contact us:

 * By mail: 6706 Bugle Run Dr. Oak Ridge, NC 27310