BriefUs Briefing System

Mar 6, 2007

As the companies creative team (web and traditional) grew, we required a system for managing our briefing system. I designed and wrote briefus to meet this need. All members of our marketing department have access to the system and are able to create new briefs. One of the creative team leaders then assigns the brief to a member of the team and sets deadlines. Members of the team manage their work using their personal “to do” list and brand teams manage their briefs through the brand pages. The system has been a complete success and we have saved hours of administration time each week. The site was written using Ruby on Rails and released Mar 2007.

All members of the marketing team (and several users elsewhere in the company) have the ability to access the system and are able to create new briefs. This page collects the core information about the brief, such as deadlines and job details and provides text boxes for the user to provide detailed briefing information.

Each member of the creative team has a personal “to do” list of briefs that have been assigned to them by the create team leader. The list is broken down by the current state of the brief and allows the user to view or edit the brief. Create team members can see each others “to do” lists but other briefus users cannot.

All users have access to the “work log” this lists all briefs (old briefs are archived after 30 days). It allows management to see the state of each brief and monitor the work entering and leaving the creative department.

The “work log” can be filtered by brand in order that a member of a brand team can assess the position of briefs for their brand. Normal users can view any brief but they cannot edit them.

When viewing a brief the information is displayed in a clean and concise format, with limited formatting of the text fields (markdown syntax allowed on the create brief page).

Creative team members are able to edit briefs in order to keep their status up to date, to change details or to add comments. When a brief is modified the person to whom the brief is assigned and the creator of the brief are emailed a copy of the brief with a summary of the changes that were made. This helps to keep everybody on top of what is happening to their briefs.

The web development members of the creative team need to be able to manage a large number of brands and sites and so being able to assign briefs to specific site releases is essential. This page includes a summary of the briefs that are included in the release. Keeping track of briefs and releases this way allows for better testing prior to release and keeps a definitive record of what went live and when.

The view release page displays more complete details of each brief that is assigned to the release.