Managing a project’s scope can be one of the most daunting and complicated tasks faced in today’s businesses. Project scope simply defines the functions or the features that are to be included in a service or product. Managing what to include and what to take out when perfecting a product or service can be exhausting but with some organisation, you can streamline this entire process, allowing you to save time, money and man hours.
The first and most important step to take in managing your project scope is an investment. You need to work out how much your project is going to cost and how to arrive at an accurate estimate. Always remember that cost is driven by three predominate factors.
Time – How long is the process going to take from start to finish?
Scope – How much work do you want to complete?
Resources & Assets – How many people and to what skill level are going to be needed to complete the project?
Brainstorm and write up some estimates and you’ll find yourself a starting point.
These are the first meetings you’ll have in regards to your project. In these meetings, you and your business partners will discuss what it is your product or service is trying to achieve. It’s so important that you discuss the why of your project and what the purpose of it is. It’s vital that everybody involved understands this concept.
There is usually a follow-up meeting where the information is discussed again and all the points made are redefined. This can include resetting deadlines, resetting budget and prioritizing what happens when.
Two meetings should be enough for all the points to be made, although in some cases, it may take a few more. When all the members of your project have agreed on how to proceed, it’s highly advised that you organise a validation meeting.
In this meeting, you’ll convey the message to the rest of the teams stated that this is the scope of the project, the budget, the deadline etc. The teams can then return to their respective departments and research and estimate how they can make the project, product or service a reality.
Jodie Hudson, a project manager at UK Writings which provide an assignment writing service states, “The validation meeting is one of the key meetings held in the project scope process. This is the part of the process where we ensure that all members of the team are sure and confident with how a project will proceed and everybody knows their parts. This is also a great time to get the teams together to ask questions, which can be answered so everybody is sure on what’s happening, eliminating miscommunication and misunderstanding.”
Refine the Project Scope
Now you and your business partners can continue working on streamlining the project so you receive the exact results you’re looking for and it is a success overall.
- Refer back to your original budget estimation and work on refining those details.
- Can the deadline be made shorter?
- Can you save money in any areas of the project?
These redefinitions should be presented alongside solutions, for example, maybe you can save money by looking into crowdsourcing solutions?
Setting the Proposal
Now, you’ve made it to this point!
The point where everything becomes a reality and the plans are set in motion. During this proposal meeting, take on board all the information that the departments are giving you on how to make the project work. Look at the data returned from the Refining the Project Scope stage and look into the best way to move the project forward.
The most important part of this step is ensuring you have options and you keep them open. There are always multiple ways to approach a task and finding the right path might not always be so easy. This is a collaborative step and requires teamwork so make sure everyone is pulling their weight. Usually, the final outcome is the perfect blend of everyone’s ideas.
Now that the plan is in motion and the project is underway, this means it’s time to repeat the steps above during these initial stages. Projects rarely run as they are originally intended and you should begin to see problems arise in the first few days. Run through your processes as well as the information created from the primary meetings.
Collaborate with all your team members and business partners to ensure everything is exact how you want it and envision it before moving forward and signing that dotted line to give everybody the green light.
Managing project scope can be a painstaking task if not approached in the right way. It is one of the most important process businesses can partake in. Management and organisation of this process are the keys to success.
Mastering this art can take years but finding a solution that works for you and your business is the most important aspect of this process. Use the steps above as a guideline to ensure you’re operating time and cost effectively and covering all the bases.