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You'll receive this quest from General Tullius at the conclusion of the Imperial Legion version of the quest
The Jagged Crown
Tullius will tell you that the Stormcloaks have recruited enough men to attack Whiterun, and he'll give you a message to deliver to Jarl Balgruuf in Dragonsreach. When you hand Balgruuf the message, at first he won't be interested, but after looking at the reports and discussing the matter with his advisers, he'll decide to accept the Legion's offer.
Balgruuf will then give you a war axe to deliver to Ulfric in the Palace of the Kings in Windhelm. If you ask him about the significance of the axe, then he'll inform you of its purpose: "If he returns it to you it means we have business to settle. If he keeps it, then we are at peace." In other words, giving the war axe to Ulfric will let you know if the Stormcloaks really plan to attack Whiterun.
Inside the Palace of the Kings, when you give the war axe to Ulfric, he'll hand it right back to you and tell you to prepare for "visitors." Then when you return to Balgruuf, you'll arrive just in front of the Stormcloak army, and so Balgruuf will already know how your trip went. He'll then direct you to speak with Legate Quentin Cicpius, who should be nearby. Talking to Cipius will complete the quest.