Getting the project scope right at the start of a project helps ensure that the project delivers the right thing. There is an easy way to write a project scope that will increase the likelihood of project success. In this post, I will outline the 5 steps to ensure good project scope capture and how to approach the out of project scope.
What Is The Project Scope
The project scope of work is what is required to be delivered. It is important that the project scope statement is clear, unambiguous and easy to understand. It should also be as detailed as possible leaving the reader in no doubt what is being delivered as part of the project.
When documenting the project scope, I try to think in the same way I would any goal by using the mnemonic SMART. I use this approach in my project start up template which you can download here.
1. Specific – The project scope needs to be accurate and leave no doubt as to what the project will achieve.
2. Measurable – How will the sponsor know when the project is complete.
3. Achievable – Make the project as small as possible after all it is easier to eat an elephant one bite at a time. It is far easier to manage a few smaller projects than one big one.
4. Realistic – Make the project easy to deliver, if it is over complicated then it is likely to hit problems and run over budget, be delivered late or of poor quality.
5. Timely – Does the project have to be completed by a certain date? If so put it in the scope that the project has to be complete by that date.
Out of Project Scope
Now the project scope is documented, comes the most important part, what is not being done as part of the project. As a rule, there should be more text describing the out of project scope than there is in the in project scope section. After all, there is more that the project is not doing than it is delivering.
To write a good out of project scope list all the other similar projects and then next to each of these projects state x will be delivered as part of the listed project and not part of the scope above. Once you have done this look at the project scope that you have just written and expand on the points stating what is not included as part of each point made in the scope.
You can find this approach in my project start up template which you can download here.