I've often wondered how other agencies handle the creative brief. As I prepared to write another one this morning for a new project, I decided to do a quick online snoop. I came across this link that claims to compile brief templates from quite a few big namers. We can't be sure of how recent these are, but skimming through the various files, I was amazed at how different they are from each other. Some are starkly simple, others are almost as complex as a tax return.
So are we supposed to find a happy medium? Is the brief just another way of ensuring the client understands the scope of work? Should they be scrapped altogether?
There are no universal answers here, because the individual agency's culture will determine the role, format and deployment of the brief. The most important thing is finding whatever it is that works for your creatives, account managers, and clients. Some like to have every little last detail set in stone before Illustrator is opened. Others prefer to allow the process to unfold more organically.
One of the huge benefits of being a smaller agency is the flexibility. There's no ten-deep hierarchy, allowing much more nimble nimbleness (weird word, that nimble). Like other elements of agency process, the creative brief convention should be regularly reviewed to make sure it remains workable. Add some nimble, take some nimble. But don't overuse nimble.