At the beginning of the project, you don’t yet know how to test it. To develop a relevant test strategy, you must learn the product. There may be many ways for you to learn about the product—by attending meetings, talking to people, reviewing project plans, studying designs or sketches. You may even have an opportunity to work with the product directly; with a previous version; with a mockup or prototype; or with a part of the product.
Without a good deal of that learning, you cannot know what test cases should describe or contain—so instead of the typical fine granularity of test cases, consider the broader notion of coverage areas.