dimanche 9 septembre 2012

How to Scope Your Projects

A lire sur:  Method 123

There are two ways to look at project scope. One approach is "the sky's the limit" where anything goes. The other end of the spectrum is that "you can have your car in any color as long as it's black, black, or black."
As a Project Manager, it's your responsibility to refine and nail down the scope of a project. To do this, learn...
How to Scope Your Projects
Someone just came up with a great idea for a new project! It's going to do this, and save that, and eliminate the need for something else. The list goes on and on of how great this project is going to be and all the wonderful things it will accomplish. But, it's hard for you to get your head around a clear understanding of this project, let alone be able to explain it to someone else.
Take heart. There is a relatively simple process to follow that will allow you to take a huge list of features, requests, and requirements and turn them into something manageable. Take these steps (and use this software) to scope your projects:
Step 1: Set the Direction of the Project
At this point, you should have already met with the initial stakeholders and sponsors of the project for a high level understanding of what this project needs to accomplish. Take this general understanding and break it down into more of a vision of where this project is going and what objectives need to be met. This will allow you to frame the conversation you will have with the expanded set of stakeholders in step 2.
Step 2: Conduct Workshops
Once you have a clear direction established for where the project is going, you will now conduct workshops to identify what elements will make up the scope of the project. Include all important stakeholders to help assist in this identification exercise. Who would be considered important? Anyone that has a vested interest in the success of the project. This can range from the executive project sponsor to the end user of the finished product.
Get everyone around a projector and take notes where all can see. Or, use the large sheets of paper with the adhesive backs and spread them all throughout the room. Ask what everyone feels will be necessary to include in the scope of the project in order to meet it's objectives. One more question to ask during these workshops is what will specifically be "out of scope". Calling these out from the beginning reduces many misunderstandings later in the project.
Step 3: Prioritize the Deliverables
You will end up with a list of deliverables that is larger than life. Everyone will want their opinion to be heard and provide their input into what should be included in the project. That's great! That's exactly what you need to have happen. Now, you need to narrow these deliverables down into something that is achievable. One of the easiest ways to do this is rank the deliverables with a 1,2, or 3. A '1' is a must have, a '2' is a nice to have, and a '3' is something not that important at all. This will allow you to concentrate and spend time on only those deliverables that will really make the most impact toward the project reaching it's stated objectives.
Step 4: Dig Into the Details
You will now have a finite and shorter list of deliverables to focus on. Dig into the details of this shorter list and ask some hard questions. Will these deliverables really make the impact that they are intended to accomplish? Should a deliverable be expanded further? Is there a way to consolidate multiple deliverables into one in order to save time and effort. This further refining process will help reduce the scope even further which results in some very well-thought out and solid deliverables.
Step 5: Determine Feasibility
From this shorter list of deliverables you now ask the question of how many of these are even possible. There may be something on the prioritized list that is a necessity, makes perfect sense, but also costs a million dollars. This is something that your company may not be able to afford at this particular time. You can then remove this from the list and look for further alternatives.
Step 6: Compile the Final List
You should be feeling pretty good about the scope of your project at this point. The direction is clear, you've received loads of input, and you have a list of deliverables that are well thought out and feasible. Compile this final list of deliverables with a brief description of each one and which priority they have been assigned. You now have the basis for a solid scope of work that you can present to upper management or the client.
Step 7: Obtain Sign-Off
The final step is to obtain written sign-off on the scope of the project. There is a lot of work that is about to be undertaken at this point of the project and this approval will give you the confidence to move forward.
It's important to keep your initial scope documents in a place where everyone can access them. You can use ProjectManager.com to store all your documents in one location for your entire team.

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire