The scope refers to the limit of something or the areas where a project could be used and stays valid. The scope of a project could be defined as how vast a project would be, what areas it will cover, to what extent it will solve the customer’s problems, and so on. Before starting a project, an organization must identify its scope. If it is not defined in advance, the project faces scope creep. It also defines the objectives and requirements to complete a project.
What Is a Project Scope?
Project Scope is a detailed outline that covers all the aspects of a project. It includes all the activities, resources, timelines, deliverables, and project boundaries. Basically, it is a way of defining the project’s limitations and boundaries. It identifies what features are important to be implemented and what features could be left out.
A project’s success largely depends upon its scope. It is identified by the project requirements submitted by the project owner. Usually, the project owner (mostly a non-technical person) does not understand the scope. The project managers need to check the feasibility of the project features that the client/ project owner wants to be implemented and define the project’s scope using the requirements.
It also determines the time and cost of the project. The larger it is, the more it is costly and takes more time to complete.
Importance of Project Scope
Defining a project scope is crucial for the successful completion of the project. It determines the project’s time and cost. A defined one helps the project managers and team stay on track and ensure that all the work is done within the defined deadline throughout the project’s life cycle.
When you have a well-defined project scope, you can avoid the issues like:
- Changing requirements
- Unwanted outcomes
- Increased costs and lower budget
- Unmet deadlines
The issues mentioned above make a project fail. So, to avoid such issues, you should create it and show it to your client so that you both can have a better understanding of the project’s outcomes.
Defining a Project’s Scope
Defining the scope of your project leads to the successful management of your project tasks. Here are the steps to follow:
- Gather the requirements from different stakeholders and discuss them with them. This way, you will be able to identify what is in and what is out of the project’s scope. Include the project owner in this meeting to specify any changes he wants to make to the requirements before it is finalized.
- Identify, communicate and document any assumptions. Assumptions are the elements related to the project and are considered true unless the project owner clarifies them. They are necessary for cost and time estimations.
- Document everything and take signatures from all the stakeholders to ensure that everyone is on the same page and has a clear understanding of the project.
How to Manage a Project’s Scope
Here are some tips that you can use to manage it better:
- Create a Work Breakdown Structure
- Avoid unnecessary stress and work. Define everything as clearly as possible.
- Define the scope while communicating with all the stakeholders to avoid misinterpretations and confusion during the project execution.
- Ensure that the project requirements and scope do not vary during the execution. No one should change anything in the project description once the project has been started.
- Communicate everything with all the stakeholders before finalizing the scope, as it cannot be changed once finalized.