As I said before, a project is a temporary endeavor or effort, having a defined beginning and end (usually constrained by date, but can be by funding or deliverables),undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, usually to bring about beneficial change or added value.
The temporary nature of projects stands in contrast to business as usual (or operations), which are repetitive, permanent or semi-permanent functional work to produce products or services.
In practice, the management of these two systems is often found to be quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills and the adoption of separate management.
The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals and objectives while honoring the project constraints. Typical constraints are scope, time, and budget. The secondary—and more ambitious—challenge is to optimize the allocation and integration of inputs necessary to meet pre-defined objectives. In this article we will talk about the project scope.
The first – in my opinion as a senior project manager – most important steps in a project is to flesh out a statement or scope definition which have the function of identify and describe all work necessary to produce the final product or desired result. The statement establishes the tone for the remainder of the planning efforts and therefore should be sufficiently detailed. Keep in mind however that being too detailed can be as bothersome as not providing enough detail.
In this phase, the project team should identify and describe all work that is necessary to bring the project to fruition. The scope definition is meant to ensure that everyone on the team understands what is expected of them during the project. In addition all project work that can be reasonably predicted must be ascertained and reported.
The scope definition should also define the appropriate administrative and technical control steps to be used during the project management process. Suitable scope definition is essential to the success of the project and should be given ample consideration and thought. If this step is skipped or inadequately developed it will most likely mean that additional project planning will suffer as a result.
The Planning Process Group
The Planning Process Group consists of several processes performed to establish the total scopeof the effort, define and clarify the objectives and develop the course of action required to attain those objectives. The planning processes develop the project management plan and the project documents that will be used to carry out the project. The principal output of this phase is the scope description document. See an example below:
The essence of the scope is to define accurately the limits of project, ie what may or may not be performed by team project so that the final results are obtained. If the customer asks to carry out a task that is not scheduled on the initial scope, a “change request”task that is not scheduled the initial scope, a “change request” should be established and submitted for the approval of everyone involved in the project. We’ll talk more about these issues in future articles.