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Writing a Project Initiation Document - Scope 2/13

01.Document Change History, Related Documents and Purpose
02.Project Scope Statement
03.Project Background
04.Project Definition
05.Assumptions, Dependencies and Constraints
06.Business Case
07.Organisation and Governance
08.Communications Plan
09.Quality Plan
10.Initial Project Plan
11.Project Controls
12.Initial Risks and Issues Log
13.Initial RFC's, Open Questions, Training & Appendix
14.Getting A PID Approved

2.0 Project Scope

This section is one of the most important in the entire Project Initiation Document as it is often the source of much argument later on in the project if not drafted in some detail to begin with. This is why when this Section is vague and woolly, Project Scope Management tends to become a vital part of a project. This section usually has three parts to it which are:

  • 2.1 Proposed Solution
  • 2.2 In Scope for Project Example
  • 2.3 Out of Scope for Project Example

2.1 Proposed Solution

This section is where you detail the solution the project will deliver. So with Project Example where you are looking to implement a new Video on Demand (YouTube type) website you would probably include some of the following here:

Project Example will design, develop and deliver a new Web 2.0 website which will allow users to access and view the existing back catalogue library of programmes. This will involve a new Content Data Network being built. A second datacentre being built to enable failover and a number of changes made to backend Business Systems. There will also be a large Business Change element to this project involving re-writing the work processes for teams such as Sales and Content Creation which will involve retraining.

2.2 In Scope

You will find the more specific and detailed this section is, the less confusion and argument about scope there will be later on in the project lifecycle.

Of course the problem is that in order to make this section completely watertight you need to have delivered the project requirements. However this stage usually doesn't happen until after the PID has been written and approved.

All is not lost however. Be specific with what you do know. After all at this stage a Project Manager is expected to be able to detail an Expenditure Authorisation (Budget Approval) and this has to be based upon a certain scope in the first place.

So for Project Example you would write something along the lines of:

  • A new website which will allow a maximum of inventory of 1 million videos.
  • A Digital Rights Management System will be purchased and implemented
  • A new bespoke Content Management System will be developed and delivered
  • The upgrading of the existing Oracle Database to version 11 to increase the performance required to support the new site will be delivered by this project as will the new licences.
  • The new Content Data Network connectivity will be delivered
  • All branding of the site itself will be delivered
  • All Web Analytics to enable user viewings of adverts and videos as well as of the site itself will be delivered and paid for

2.3 Not in Scope

In this section you would detail everything you are not delivering as part of Project Example. So this could include:

  • All retraining and re-writing of business processes for the Sales and Content Creation teams will be delivered as part of the Business Change Programme.
  • All changes to Business Systems will be undertaken by Operations as part of their BAU process.
  • Any upgrades required to other systems to enable them to work with the new site
  • Any social media element such as User Generated Content, communities or moderated forums.
  • Any payment mechanism for users to pay to watch videos
  • The new datacentre proposed will be delivered by the Infrastructure Programme
  • All advertising and marketing required for launch and on an ongoing basis will not be delivered or paid for by this project
  • Any recruitment required of resources for BAU purposes once the new website launches.

Writing a Project Initiation Document Scope Tip

It is better to write more in this Section than less. Try to cover absolutely everything you can think of, and what you are unclear on, either get clarification from the Business Stakeholder on what their view is or failing that cover them in Section 2.3 Not In Scope.

Whatever you do, do not be tempted to skip over this section of a Project Initiation Document, unless of course you enjoy having rows with Business Stakeholders over what is actually In and Out of Scope on the project!

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