It can be simpler to manage a team and meet deadlines when a project has a clearly defined aim. A scope management plan can help streamline an executable approach for guiding a team to achieve the project’s primary objectives. Understanding how this process works will enable you to apply scope management to any project and prevent scope creep, which is the gradual expansion of a project’s scope.
Definition of project scope management
The process of identifying, overseeing, and directing the work connected with a project is known as project scope management. Making a thorough strategy can help you and your team accomplish your goals while staying within the constraints of the allocated money and timetable. The project’s aim, specific team member responsibilities, client or stakeholder deliverables, and a description of each phase are all included in the project’s scope.
Why is project scope management so essential?
The project scope not only guides the team’s work but also offers suggestions if the project manager needs changes. A more extensive project scope can make any necessary adjustments easier to implement because a large project is more likely to experience changes over time. A project scope plan is also crucial if you oversee numerous projects. A clearly defined plan makes it easier to organize and manage several efforts. Additional goals of project scope management include:
- Establishes a goal: If the specifics of the scope are stated at the onset, the stakeholders and team members will have a clear grasp of the desired goal and the steps necessary to attain it.
- Prevents scope creep: Without a clear scope, initiatives are vulnerable to scope creep, which happens when a project goes above its allocated money and timetable. Miscommunication or the need to redo work may result from this.
- Explains the scope: When the scope is limited, each person may concentrate and perform more precisely. They can enter objectives and tasks for easy access, and a personal accounting of their performance is available right away.
How to develop a scope management plan for a project
If your project scope management strategy follows a rigorous and thorough process, it may have a higher chance of success. To organize the scope of your subsequent project, follow these steps.
Establish the project scope
You can plan how to stick to the budget and get through any hurdles by defining the scope of a project before you start. Examine the project’s needs, such as the costs, time, skills, materials, and any other resources that are absolutely necessary, in order to determine the scope. Then determine whether the resources at your disposal can meet these demands within the given period by evaluating the quantity and quality of the work that the team is expected to perform.
Plan a scope statement
A declaration of scope often contains all relevant project stakeholders’ information in a clear, concise, and accessible manner. Make a scope statement that lists the deliverables, assumptions, and limits after giving a general overview of the project. It may also contain any other information necessary for the project’s success, as well as the project’s guiding principles. The scope statement likewise aids the team in comprehending any prospective circumstances for scope creep so they are not taken by surprise if it happens.
Take into account the goals you wish to accomplish
The project’s purpose is its primary driving force. Having a defined goal aids in project success whether your firm plans to enhance a product or implement new corporate policies. You can create SMART goals to serve as your road map and help you divide your plan into doable phases. The abbreviation SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based which is defined as below:
- Specific: When describing the project’s objectives, be as precise as possible.
- Measurable: Maintain measurable objectives for the project.
- Achievable: Utilize your available resources and team’s skill sets as parameters for determining how fast and easily the team can execute the project.
- Relevant: All of the project’s sub-goals should be pertinent to the main objective.
- Time-based: Your project should be finished within an acceptable time range.
Specify the prerequisites for the undertaking
Similar to how you should define the project’s scope, being very clear about the project’s needs may help you get better results. The project scope must go beyond “build a warehouse” if the stakeholders, for instance, need additional storage for their goods. Include other details that will aid in the manufacturing process, such as the warehouse’s location, dimensions, and layout, as well as the justification for building a new warehouse as opposed to renting one.
Lay out your strategy
It is advantageous to provide an outline of the steps your team can follow to finish the project when creating a project management strategy. Your outline should have an aim, a list of deliverables, a deadline, a plan for any scope adjustments, and a strategy for leveraging the resources at your disposal to finish the project. Additionally, you can use this as a reference for upcoming projects, for any quality checks you perform once the project is finished, or as a record for the client.
Identify any restrictions
Determine the project’s constraints, which are frequently violated by scope creep. If a team member’s absence results in a two-week delay in the project’s completion, for example, a four-week deadline can be subject to scope creep. Knowing all of the project’s constraints is essential so that you can make plans in case scope creep becomes an issue. Establish what resources are available to allay these worries, and appoint someone to keep a close eye on the project’s constraints.
Create a job breakdown framework
Having a visual depiction of the project’s components may make work assignment easier. A work breakdown structure typically looks like a tree with boxes for deliveries inside. For instance, the departments that are moving might be the deliverables if the project involves moving the office to a new location, with a subgroup specifying each cubicle. At a high level, this kind of graphic can help the team understand how each element contributes to the whole and what the project’s eventual purpose is.
Review the project’s scope as a group
Your team might benefit from a discussion of the project’s scope with you before starting it. This offers you the chance to consider suggestions, respond to queries, and make sure that everyone involved in the project is satisfied with the plan you’ve created. Examine the constraints, available resources, and any other difficulties thoroughly before allocating portions of the project to each team member. You might also assess the project scope with the client before you start in order to preserve consistency and clarity.