Ways to Identify Project Scope

June 2, 2010

Here are some suggestions on how you might narrow the focus on your project’s scope and identify for all involved exactly what your project will accomplish, and exactly what it won’t.

  • Make a list. Old fashioned, pen and paper, sit down with your client and discuss what is important and what isn’t.
  • Narrow the details. Be sure that you ask your client detailed, specific questions about what they want. Don’t leave anything unturned. If they want three computers switched to new software or 3 divisions of hundreds of computers switched to new software, you need to know upfront what they’re expecting.
  • Talk about cost, staffing, and other issues. If you have concerns, share them. Get answers.
  • Email is not a bad option. If sitting down with your client is not an option, then email them. This way you can agree to something in writing and see tangibly what the other person is thinking. Working things out over email saves time and creates a written agreement all in one step. (Now careful, this isn’t a legal “in writing” so if you need notarization or signed/dated copies or something, Email is not for you).
  • Pick up the phone and call them. Don’t be afraid of conversation and there aren’t too many questions. Identify what you think is the project scope and make sure everyone involved is on the same page.


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