According to research by PWC, 41% of projects that fail do so due to change(s) in scope mid-project.
You need a crystal clear idea of your deliverables so you know what you need to achieve, you can measure your progress and your stakeholders know what to expect.
Create your scope
The success of your scope (and your project) relies on how comprehensive you’ve been when gathering requirements from your stakeholders (read about all the other vital stages of project management in The Six Step Guide to Practical Project Management).
Once you’ve gathered all of the requirements, you need to translate these into what your project needs to deliver (the deliverables) to meet those requirements.
When you create your scope, you have to make decisions on what you will include and what you won’t include. Naturally, some of the things stakeholders have asked for won’t be delivered, whether it’s due to time or cost constraints, or if it doesn’t fit with the purpose and objectives of the project.
Make sure your deliverables in the scope are clear, to avoid stakeholders being disappointed that their interpretation of the deliverables doesn’t match the reality.
Get agreement on the scope
You should gather your stakeholders together in a meeting to ensure they all understand and agree.
Make sure nothing is hidden – which can happen if you just hand someone a document (people can miss things). Your goal is absolute clarity, and to get valuable feedback.
Present the scope visually and talk through each part (MindGenius is great for this – feel free to give it a try with templates that will help you create your scope and more). It gives stakeholders the opportunity to spot gaps and to help you to ensure that they don’t miss or misunderstand anything.
During the meeting, you should also highlight what is ‘out of scope’ (what they have asked for that is not being delivered), and explain the reasons why.
A simpler and easier approach to project management
The above information is just one step in a six-step process that makes managing projects from start to finish simpler and easier.
The Six Step Guide to Practical Project Management strips back professional project management processes to the absolute basics without sacrificing the vital ingredients for a successful project – to hit your deadlines, stay on budget and deliver big benefits to your organisation (and career).