- What is Project Scope?
- The Importance of Project Scope
- The Advantages of Defining Project Scope Early
- 10 Key Steps to Define Project Scope
- 1. Outline business case
- 2. Define the objectives
- 3. Define resources of the project
- 4. Gather other additional information for project
- 5. Drafting project scope statement
- 6. Get support and approval from key stakeholders
- 7. Establish change control
- 8. Implement the agreed changes promptly
- 9. Communicate project scope with your team
- 10. Refer back to project scope during the monitoring phase
In project management, you shouldn’t aim too high or low. Your project should be big enough to include all deliverables but small enough for it to be manageable. So, how can you make everything manageable and get the right result you intended to have? Well, you can start by defining your project’s scope. Defining your project’s scope helps you meet deadlines and budget without overburdening your team. This article covers defining and managing project scope.
What is Project Scope? #
In the initiation phase of the project life cycle, you will start with planning the project first. And when you start the planning, you, your team, and the other project stakeholder needs to define the project scope first. To put it simply, Project scope is part of the project planning that includes creating the list of goals, objectives, deliverables, tasks, budget, and timeline of the project.
The Importance of Project Scope #
When the scope of your project is clearly defined, it is easier to effectively manage the expectations of the project’s stakeholders. It also ensures that all of the project’s components are aligned with the objectives, which increases the likelihood that the project will be successful.
As an example, you want to make sure that stakeholders on relevant teams at your business, such as the product team, the content team, the design team, are on the same page when it comes to launching a new product. You may also wish to design a method for controlling changes in your project, depending on its complexity.
The Advantages of Defining Project Scope Early #
Your project’s scope enables you to visualize the whole project life cycle and ensure that your final objectives are attainable. Specifically, establishing the scope of your project gives you advantages to:
- Reduce project risk
- Ensure that all stakeholders have a complete awareness of the project’s boundaries.
- Manage stakeholders’ expectations and obtain their support.
- Budget and resource planning carefully
- Align your project with its primary goals
- Create a procedure for changing requests for projects with high complexity.
- Prevent scope creep
What is Scope Creep? #
Scope creep is a situation or condition that occurs when the demands and deliverables of a project surpass the boundaries that were initially outlined for it. Scope creep could have negative effects on the project’s schedule, output quality, resources, and budget of project, among other factors.
By developing a firm knowledge of a project’s goal and properly defining, documenting, and monitoring its scope, you may ensure that you are in a position to deliver a project successfully without having to put up with scope creep.
10 Key Steps to Define Project Scope #
1. Outline business case #
The reason you have a project is because of your business case in the first place. The business case lists the project’s goals, benefits, and return on investment. If there is a problem that is being fixed, it should be explained here. The business case says what needs to be done and how it should be done.
2. Define the objectives #
Project objectives are the things you intend to accomplish by the completion of the project. This may involve deliverables and assets, as well as more abstract goals such as enhancing productivity and motivation. Your objectives of the project should be feasible, time-bound, and measurable at the project’s conclusion.
3. Define resources of the project #
Plan to identify your resource management strategy prior to developing the project scope. Thus, when you are composing your project scope statement, you will be aware of all available resources, and you may alter the project scope accordingly. Resources in project management might be anything from the project budget and the team.
4. Gather other additional information for project #
In this step, you should be concentrating on additional information regarding resources that have the potential to have an effect on the scope of your project. Some examples of such resources are your project timeframe and the amount of people available. This is useful to do risk analysis and mitigate these risk or obstacle you might face when running the project.
5. Drafting project scope statement #
What is the project scope statement? #
Now, you should start drafting your project scope statement and say what you will and will not do, and why. But, what is the project scope statement? Simply said, a project scope statement is a written description of the scope of your project. Your scope statement could be a part of your project plan or it could be a separate document, based on the complexity of your project. If you’re working with a third-party agency or team, you may formalize your agreement with your vendor by converting your project scope statement into a statement of work (SOW).
When you are drafting project scope statement, you should be able to answers all these questions:
- Why are we doing this project?
- What are the results we would like to achieve?
- What limitations do we face to run the project?
- What is the available budget and resources that we have?
- Who in the team will be working on this?
- When is the deadline?
- What is not covered or out of the scope?
Again, your project scope statement could be a bulleted list, a longer paragraph, or a full Statement of Work (SoW), depending on how complicated your project is. No matter how long it is, your project scope statement should list the goals of your project and what it will and will not cover.
Example of project scope statement template #
Let’s pretend you’re the project manager for a YouTube video marketing project and you’re establishing the scope. The following is an example of a simple project scope declaration.
The goal of this YouTube video marketing project for ABC company is to develop content to be put on YouTube and Website to increase brand recognition
This assignment will involve keyword research for YouTube search engine, video script, storyboard, shooting and editing and posting it to the ABC blog on the company’s YouTube channel and website. In addition, these videos will be shared on social media as well. Jane Doe in the marketing department will direct all activities.
Outcomes of a project
The project deliverables will include one well-edited, 2-5 minutes video that will be published on ABC’s YouTube and website starting June to August, every Wednesday.
- 4 people (producer, videographer, editor and web admin)
- 8000 Euro per month, from May-August
Project Roadmap and Timeline
This project will start in June to August
- May 1-10: Brief all the team, and plan each content.
- 1, 8, 15, 22 June: Post the video per week on YouTube
- 6, 13, 20,27 July: Post the video per week on YouTube
- 3, 10, 17, 24 August: Post the video per week on YouTube
Project Acceptance Criteria
Before publication, Jane Doe in the marketing department will evaluate and approve the final script and storyboard before shooting and before publishing to the YouTube channel and company website.
Exclusions from the Project
This project will not pay external vendors for research or for outsourced services.
Project Restrictions/ Constraints
Constraints may include any communication delays, modifications to the project’s scope, or technical issues.
Once the project scope statement has been finalized and accepted, and the project has begun, the project scope must be controlled carefully to prevent scope creep.
6. Get support and approval from key stakeholders #
Before you finish the project scope statement, ensure that all project stakeholders have given their approval. This is your opportunity to make changes, reconsider the project’s objectives, and determine what will and will not be included. Once your project is in progress, it will be more difficult to modify any aspect of your project scope, therefore be sure to effectively explain your project’s scope to all relevant stakeholders.
7. Establish change control #
If you have many stakeholders or are managing a complex undertaking, a change control procedure may be helpful. Large or sophisticated projects require changes. Maybe your timeline was excessively optimistic, or customer feedback forced you to revise multiple deliverables. You don’t want your project to be unchangeable, but allowing random changes can lead to scope creep.
8. Implement the agreed changes promptly #
When changes need to be done, make sure to update them on the project scope and consult with your key stakeholders again to reduce delay and risks. Make sure everyone is updated about the changes that are made.
9. Communicate project scope with your team #
After stakeholders approve of your project scope, share it with your team. Make sure your team has a work management solution to access all of your work.
10. Refer back to project scope during the monitoring phase #
Consult your project scope document often to avoid scope creep. If someone presents new project elements that haven’t gone through change control, link them to the scope statement and encourage him or her to submit a request or fast-follow.
Defining project scope is one of things you should do if you want to become the successful project manager that runs the project successfully. Remember that a project scope statement helps ensure your project’s success. It helps your project team avoid burnout. A project scope is only beneficial if communicated well. So, make sure to publish the project scope early within the team when planning the project and keep referencing it throughout the project.
Now, do you have a project to run? Make sure to define your project scope carefully and use the help of FoxPlan portfolio and project management software! Access FoxPlan free trial today or contact our team to experience FoxPlan in action!