“Expert Tips for Writing a Project Description With Free Templates” on SmartSheet, May 25, 2021.
Tips for Writing a Good Project Description
- Make a Memorable First Impression: Alan Zucker, PMP, is a project manager with more than 25 years working with Fortune 100 companies and founder of the website Project Management Essentials. He says that a project description should motivate. The goal is for people to understand and support the project after reading the description.
“When crafting your pitch, remember that most people will form their initial impressions about the project within the first 30 seconds. Lead with a strong statement and a powerful image of the project’s benefit,” Zucker says.
- Write for a Broad Audience: A common mistake when writing a project description is targeting too narrow of an audience.
“There is usually no lack of attention on the stakeholders that are funding the project, and they are important audience members for the project description to focus on,” Carson says. “But particular attention focused on the stakeholders who will benefit from the project often leads to helpful insights for the project.”
Getting feedback on the description from a broader audience is also helpful. Zucker suggests reviewing the description with key stakeholders, customers, and those impacted by the project. “After reading your description, see if they can restate it in their own words,” Zucker suggests. “Was the restatement what you intended? If not, then continue to revise the description based on the feedback.”
- Avoid Excessive Details, Especially Early On: Your project description should convey a vision, rather than provide a detailed implementation plan. Don’t worry too much about planning out details in the description phase — Zucker suggests that you simply make sure there’s a clear understanding of the project’s goals and why you want to proceed.
“The description will evolve as we learn more about the project,” Zucker says. “Don’t worry about committing too early. Part of that evolutionary process is sharing the description and getting feedback on it.”