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Defining a Project Scope


The project scope is the core of an individual project. Without a project scope, the project will just float. Proper needs assessments and other intricate details will be overlooked. Each project is designed to resolve issues the stakeholders are experiencing in their company. These well-meaning individuals will dump data and information charts, lists, and figures presumptuously on the desk, expecting it all to make sense. The "here's the problem, fix it" attitude can be frustrating. There are numerous feature requirements that must be met. It is unclear as to what to prioritize and where. Cost estimates may not be accurate. Delivery dates are tentative. It is enough to make someone throw up their hands in desperation and say "I QUIT!". The trained business analyst will just grin and dive in. He or she will know what is needed in a project scope.

The project scope is the outline of the project. It is considered the itinerary of an individual project program. The project scope is the step-by-step guide to determine who, what, why, when, and where. It will be able to define to the stakeholders what they want to have done. It will be able to list who will be doing which job. The project scope will list why each step is critical to the success of the project. It will also address the timeframe as to when the project should be completed.

The project scope will detail for the stakeholders the outside resources being utilized for the completion of individual tasks. Each development team will be able to view the project scope and see what is required of them. The project scope will also detail needs assessment and cost estimates.

Each project scope will be able to address technical constraints the stakeholders may or may not be aware of. Within the project scope, a detailed report of end-user requests will also be added. This will allow the stakeholders to understand why certain aspects of the project program are different than anticipated.

The project scope is an itinerary listing short-term and long-term expectations. Short-term goals will be listed, allowing the stakeholders to check each milestone. The project scope will also include a prioritized listing of essential requirements or features needed for the short-term and long-term success of the project program.

One of the most critical reports in the project scope is the vision statement. The vision statement will define in clear and concise wording the project scope. The vision statement will allow the stakeholders to understand the problem and the solution needed. The vision statement will state the user's needs in clear terms. The program features will be outlined in the vision statement.

The project scope is the "to-do" list of the program. A sort of brainstorming, or in some cases, model storming, allows all parties involved to be able to follow along. Each department, along with the stakeholders, will be able to refer to the project scope throughout the completion of the project. Without the project scope, the project has no start or endpoint. The project will most likely fail.

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