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05th Jan 2021
That’s why creating a thorough scope management plan is so important, helping you to bring a project home with successful outcomes.
Before we talk about how to manage scope, let’s define it.
The project scope is a summary of the parameters of the entire project – it is the meat and potatoes of a project. A well-written project scope includes goals, objectives, deliverables, a task plan, costs and deadlines of a project. It also assigns responsibilities and roles. The project scope is written out into a statement of work, or scope statement and can be included as part of the project management plan.
Scope creep is real, and it’s a problem. Imagine what a garden looks like when it is neglected and untended. Instead of plants staying within the boundaries of the garden, they simply grow wherever they can. A project scope is like a garden, if not properly cared for it could go wild.
Scope creep is what happens when changes to the scope occur. If new requirements are added to the scope without a change in budget, resources, or timeline, then that is uncontrolled scope creep. Sometimes changes in the scope are necessary and warranted, however it is always best to plan for it.
A scope management plan is your first line of defence against scope creep. A scope management plan will map out the project and will help the project remain or stay close to the originally set out scope. This will ensure proper use of resources, so the project is finished on time, within budget, and to the quality expected from stakeholders.
Keep in mind, the scope management plan can be included as part of your project management plan. As part of the scope management plan you should include the processes that will be taken to complete the project and how these processes will be controlled and monitored.
Here are the steps to creating a scope management plan:
Below are some of the things you can include in your scope management plan.
A scope management plan is important to prevent your project from being derailed. It is like a map that shows you how to handle multiple obstacles that might arise. Once your scope management plan is finalised, make sure you share it with all parties associated with the project to keep them informed.
Written communication can be extremely informative or terribly confusing. Make sure that you write your scope management plan with your target audience in mind. It should be simple and clear for anyone to read. It’s also a good idea to utilise checklists or bulleted points. That way if something gets lost in a paragraph it is reiterated in a simpler format.
The whole point of a scope management plan is not to prevent changes. It’s to allow flexibility in management and to ensure even if the scope changes, everyone will benefit. Implementing a document and process, such as a change request form will help you document and enact change. Change happens, the goal is simply to be ready for it.
Have a list of stakeholders to the project, as well as stakeholders that have the authority to approve change. Depending on the change there may be legal issues, technical issues, and communication issues to deal with. Designating who can make those decisions beforehand will make tracking and communication easier. Include contact information and other relevant information.
Managing project scope doesn’t have to be difficult. With the proper scope management plan, and a bit of time, effort, and patience, you’ll be able to craft a clear scope and deliver your project on time and on budget.
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