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Project Management, Scrum, Agile Methodologies etc etc etc

Project Scoping – Let’s try to do it right this time

The main purpose of project scoping is to:

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

So basically scope defines all the items, features and functions that the project team is trying to build. it contains information about what the project team will work, it contains the list of deliverable of the project and a list of features that will not be considered as part of the project deliverable.

Looking at the above description of the Project scope one could say that project scope is very important phase of a project. And this statement is indeed true. But it is also very important to understand that the project initiation phase is the phase when there is least understanding about the project.

Project managers may think that they have complete understanding of the project but it might not be so. The perceived size, magnitude and interpretation of the project in the initiation phase could be wrong too. If this is the case then the project scope will not be properly defined and ultimately there will be scope creep which will result in a lot of change requests during the project life cycle. Too many change requests always leads to project failure.

So to ensure that the scope of the project is properly defined, following activities could be performed:

  • Doing a thorough requirement analysis for the project.
  • Identifying the various parameters and factors relevant to the project in its various stages.
  • Identifying the factors from the project scope that could induce problems.
  • Listing down all the boundaries, limitations and constraints of the project
  • Listing down all the understanding the assumptions for the project.
  • Creating a rudimentary schedule of deliverable(time lines).

Once all these activities are performed, the project manager will have a very good idea about:

  • Objectives of project
  • Major Phases and Sub-phases
  • Major Tasks involved
  • Resources requirements
  • Budget requirements
  • Rudimentary Schedule

One of the most important factors to consider while defining the scope is that all the business stakeholders’ participation should be there in performing all these activities. If the complete participation is not possible then at least the stakeholders should be aware of these things. It can be achieved by having frequent meetings, discussion, and interviews with them.

Also, once the scope is defined, it is also important to get a formal ratification on the scope by all the business stakeholders. The formal ratification gives the stakeholders one more chance to review the scope and provide some feedback on it.

If the project scope is correctly created, it increases the chances of project success many folds. Following the above step cannot guarantee a proper project scope but it will reduce the chances of having gaps in the project scope.


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