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What is a project intake form — and how to make one

project intake form
By Drazen Vujovic. Last Updated September 18, 2023

Starting a new project can be an exciting time for any agency or organization. It's a chance to showcase your skills, create something new, and add a new client to your portfolio.

But if you’ve ever worked on a project before, you know it's not always smooth sailing. Unclear project requirements and misaligned goals can quickly derail even the most promising project. One tried-and-tested way to solve these issues is to create a project intake form.

In this blog post, we'll explore what a project intake form is and how to create one. 

Let's dive in!

Project intake form: The definition

A project intake form is a well-structured questionnaire that firms and agencies use to collect information about proposed projects or initiatives. This form typically includes questions about:

  • The project’s purpose 
  • Its scope and objectives
  • Budget
  • Target audience
  • Timeline

You can also design a project intake form template that requests details about the resources needed, potential risks and constraints, and the expected outcomes. In each case, the idea is to gather sufficient information from your client to successfully complete the project.

Advantages of using project intake forms

The project intake process gets easier if you design a comprehensive form or questionnaire. Here are the most important advantages of crafting a solid project intake form template:

1. Intake form ensures consistency

Using a project intake form ensures consistency in your work. Instead of starting from scratch with each client, you can immediately collect important data using a project intake form. This kind of consistency makes it easier to run your different projects. 

The best thing is that you can refine the form over time to make it more relevant and efficient. That way, you are guaranteed to capture all necessary information regardless of the type of job or client. You may consider creating different project intake form templates for different types of projects.

2. No back-and-forth emails

A big benefit of these forms or questionnaires is the elimination of back-and-forth emails. Instead of sending multiple emails to gather information, you can simply send the project intake form to the client and ask them to fill it out. 

3. It saves your time

Using a project intake form can save you a lot of time. You can avoid delays and reduce the need for follow-up emails or calls by collecting all the necessary information upfront. This allows you to move forward with the project more quickly and efficiently.

4. Intake forms streamline communication

Project intake forms can also streamline communication between you and your client. By having all the necessary information in one place, you can easily refer back to it throughout the project. 

This helps you avoid miscommunication and ensures that everyone is on the same page from day one. In addition, the document can serve as a reference point for any future discussions or project-related decisions.

Questions to ask in a project intake form template

A typical project comes with countless tasks and requirements, but you should only focus on key elements in your client intake process. We compiled a comprehensive list of questions to ask in a professional project intake form.

Start with the basics

The basic details tell you more about the client you’re working with. It’s a simple set of questions, but it’s mandatory for successful project management. 

  • What is your name?
  • What is your job title and department?
  • Your email address
  • Your phone number
  • Your company’s website URL
  • What is your preferred communication method?
  • What industry/niche are you in? 
  • What services or products do you sell?

Define the project type

The next step is to define the type of project you’re working on. This will help you plan resources for the proposed project. 

  • What type of project is this?
  • What is the scope of the project?
  • What is the purpose of the project?
  • What is the level of complexity of the project?
  • What are the technical requirements of the project?
  • What are the functional requirements of the project?
  • Who is your target audience?

Determine project goals

A questionnaire form has to focus on project goals. Potential clients should answer the following questions about their objectives:

  • What is the main goal of the project?
  • What specific outcomes would you like to achieve with the project?
  • What are the key deliverables of the project?
  • How will the project benefit your business or organization?
  • What pain points or challenges are you trying to address with this project?
  • How does this project fit into your overall business strategy?
  • Are there any external factors (such as competitors or industry trends) that have influenced your decision to pursue this project?
  • How will you measure progress along the way?

Define the budget through project requests 

Budgeting questions are a major element of project intake forms. Here are a few questions to include in your intake process:

  • What is the overall budget for the project?
  • Are there any constraints or limitations on the budget?
  • How will the budget be allocated across the various stages of the project?
  • Are there any contingencies for unforeseen expenses or changes in scope?
  • How will you track and manage expenses throughout the project?
  • Are there any opportunities to optimize the budget?

Ask questions about project deadlines

Time is a precious resource, so a sample project intake form always comes with timeline-related questions. Here are a few suggestions:

  • What are the expected start and end dates for the project?
  • What milestones do you expect to achieve, and when?
  • What is the estimated duration for each phase of the project?
  • Are there any external factors (e.g. seasonality or product launch dates) that we need to take into account when setting the project timeline?
  • What are the risks or challenges that could impact the timeline?
  • What level of flexibility do you have with the project timeline?

Create your project intake form with Content Snare

Now you know what a good project intake form looks like, you need a good software tool to make one. You could try using emails and shared documents, but you’ll soon realize that it is very painful trying to collect information using these methods.

So, what’s the best solution?

Our platform, Content Snare, streamlines data gathering by helping you design highly functional and eye-pleasing project intake forms. It’s a user-friendly tool that manages all information without the need for other third-party apps.

With Content Snare, you can make project intake forms, online questionnaires, and content requests in minutes. The system simplifies information gathering with these features:

  • Automated reminders
  • Requests, approvals, and rejections
  • Auto-save
  • In-form discussions
  • Team-level access
  • Quick data export
  • Advanced system security

These and many other features make it much easier to complete the entire client intake process. Content Snare helps you get all project details in record time, so you can get on with doing what you do best. 

Build project intake forms and templates with Content Snare

Simplify the way you capture project information with Content Snare’s customisable forms and questionnaires — or use one of our growing number of ready-made templates.

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Drazen Vujovic

Dražen Vujović is a journalist and content writer. More importantly, he is a father of two and a long-distance runner.