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Introduction to Project Planning and Project Scoping

Every organization is constantly growing. On top of that they aspire to grow even faster. But to sustain growth and further increase the growth rate, it is essential to have an effective growth plan in place. The only way to prepare a proper plans is by ensuring that the manager involved has sufficient knowledge about the various projects in the organization and the processes involved in these projects. On the same lines, every project plan need to be made meticulously in order to ensure the project success and the projects contribution to the organization growth.

A project typically has various phases in its life cycle. In one of the previous posts we have seen these phases of the project life cycle. Project planning phase is undoubtedly the most important phase of the project life cycle. A proper planning will ensure smooth execution phase for the project. Some of the major activities done during the planning stage are(responsibilities of a project manager):

  • Resource requirement: Analyzing the resources needed during the project execution. This will also include listing out the Roles and Responsibilities of the various members involved in the project. It is often observed that the resource requirement increases from start to an intermediate stage of the project. It further increases at a rapid rate and becomes constant for a while. Then it decreases rapidly towards the end of the project.
  • Funds requirement: Analyzing the project from the financial perspective. This will give the requirement of funds for the complete execution of the project.
  • Schedule and estimate: Analyzing the project from the schedule perspective. The time needed for the various tasks of the project are determined. The major objective of this exercise is to create the effor estimate and schedule of the project.
  • Risk Analysis: Performing risk analysis and creating a list of uncertainty factors in the project. Risk analysis will also provide the list of control factors that needs to be kept in mind during the execution phase.
  • Selection of Tools and Techniques: various tools and techniques that are needed during the execution and monitoring phase are identified.
  • Dealing with changes: During the course of the project execution it will be effected by some external factors. The influence of such external factors on the project may result in changes in various areas. A proper plan should also document the ways these changes will be dealt with.

All the above planning stage activities will find some key issues and the ways to deal with these issues. All this should be properly documented in the project plan.

Oh wait, When should I prepare Project Scope

All the above mentioned activities will only be done once the scope of the project is defined. So the project scope document should be created before performing the above activities. In other words, before we create a project plan, we need to define the project scope.

A project scope is the information that is absolutely needed to complete the project plan. According to Wikipedia the project scope can be defined as Project scope: The work that needs to be accomplished to deliver a product, service, or result with the specified features and functions.” In case the project deals with creating with creation of the product the product scope also matters. what is product scope “Product Scope: The features and functions that characterize a product, service, or result.

So the main purpose of scoping is to:

  • Identify the areas of the project work.
  • Forces affecting the project.
  • Define the boundaries of the project.

The project scope has to be explicitly stated on project objectives. Project scope provide directions to the project. The project scoping activity should be done in such a way that project manager have a clear picture of all the project stage and he is able to assess each and every stage of the project in a deterministic manner(from a planning perspective). The scope will also define the features of the final output and thus it enables the assessment of the quality of the deliverable of the project at every stage.

Now we have seen the basic objective of project planning, what exactly is the objective of project planning and what activities are performed during project planning. We have discussed the project scoping in brief. In later blogs, we will try to dig deeper into project scoping and project planning.

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One response to “Introduction to Project Planning and Project Scoping

  1. Nipun kumar June 15, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    informative article on Project Management. Rahul, I want to know more about project management practices, please suggest books, authors on PM.

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