My Project Management Expert

Project Scope Statement 2/4

01.Project Scope Statement
02.Project Scope Statement - The Problems
03.Project Scope Statement - The Expert Way
04.Project Scope Statement - 5 Excuses to Change Scope
05.Writing a Project Scope Statement in a Project Initiation Document

2.0 Project Scope Statement - The Problems

The reason why writing a Project Scope Statement is so problematic is because it is defined during initiation. At this stage the Project Manager is essentially working "Blind" as no-one will know exactly what the project will deliver. The Business Stakeholders might have an idea of the project scope at a high level, but certainly not at the detailed level, which is why a key skill any Project Manager must have, is the ability to effectively deal with Project Management Scope.

Now imagine you have been asked by the Business Sponsor to initiate a project to deliver a new company website. Okay you know that they want a new website, and in fact the Business Sponsor may even know that they also require it to cope with loads of pages of content, an ecommerce shop and a user forum. Sounds easy right?

Well no. Let's take it a bit further. What exactly does "cope with loads of pages of content, an ecommerce shop and a user forum" actually mean in practice? This is the first question any seasoned Project Manager asks themselves because at this stage it pays to asks questions, and still more questions until you get a clear idea in your head what exactly what will need to go into the project scope statement.

Of course it is also when the problems start, because you expect the Business Stakeholder to be able to explain to you exactly what it is that they want. The problem is few can and even then you quickly discover that they somehow expect you to be able to deliver a world class, cutting edge, state of the art, all singing and dancing website: for the cost of a MacDonalds Happy Meal!

Further problems lie in the fact that if the project has more than one Business Stakeholder, all of them will have completely different ideas on what they expect to be delivered. Often these will be completely contradictory and it will be up to you, the Project Manager to resolved it.

Lastly, if you think that project initiation is something which takes months, well it rarely does. Project Initiation usually occurs in 2-4 weeks. Therefore you somehow have to find a way to get your Project Scope Statement agreed and nailed down in this extremely limited period of time.

This is where having experience comes into play. A seasoned Project Manager will know when to push Stakeholders for answers, and when to simply assume what is required. This is a key skill to have. It means you don't waste the Business Stakeholder's time on insignificant pieces of functionality which take a few days to develop and test, instead focussing their minds on the big deliverables which will take months and a large percentage of the budget to deliver.

Project Scope Statement Problems - Tip

There are thankfully quite a number of things you can do as the Project Manager to reduce Project Scope Statement Problems. Key amongst these are:

  • Emphasise throughout the Initiation Process to everyone ie your boss, the Business Stakeholders etc how tight the timeframes, resources and budget are and that any Changes will cause the Project Status to go Red immediately.
  • Raise any major scope disagreements as Risks immediately and the minute they become Issues escalate it upwards for resolution.

Sign Up for Our Free
The Fast Track to Project Success eZine
and get The mPME Top 10 Tips
of Successful Project Management Ebook!

The Top 10 Tips of Successful Project Management Ebook Email

Name

Then

Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
We promise to use it only to send you The Fast Track to Project Success.



follow MyPMExpert on Twitter


Sign Up for Our Free
The Fast Track to Project Success Ezine
and get Our
Top 10 Tips of
Successful Project Management Ebook!

The Top 10 Tips of Successful Project Management Ebook
Email

Name

Then

Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
We promise to use it only to send you The Fast Track to Project Success.

Site News

Please check out our new Project Management Methodologies section. It has loads of great info on concepts such as the PMMM and Critical Path.


Spare 2 Mins & Win an iPod Shuffle

We're running a survey to enable us to better focus our site and products. Please spare 2 minutes to answer our 6 questions and we'll enter you into a draw to win an iPod Shuffle. This way you help us to better help you. Go on, you know it makes sense!

Click here for the Survey.



XML RSS
What is this?
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Add to Google

Original Content Copyright © 2009 My-Project-Management-Expert.com
All other content is in the public domain or is copyright by the credited author.