Introduction: Defining scope management
It is important to clearly define the scope of a project to avoid emerging issues and navigate the project’s life cycle with confidence. Scope refers to the work required to reach the project’s outcomes and outputs set during a planning phase. It can be described as a set of easily identifiable features and functions that have to be accomplished to deliver a product/service. Project Scope Management (shortly PSM) is the process of defining the project’s outcomes, outputs, and benefits so that executives can generate efficient ways to control them. How the company manages its scope depends on the lifecycle of a product or service. The lifecycle can be either linear or iterative. For projects with a linear lifecycle, it is best to use a breakdown structure of activities and resources with a fixed scope definition. In projects with an iterative lifecycle, managers prioritize ‘must-have’ requirements, which are then translated into a target scope.
Steps involved in PSM
The first step involves defining the needs of a project. Managers often have to create a set timeline and brainstorm ways to allocate resources. They also need to set realistic goals they can later communicate to the team. Once the work needed for the project’s completion is clearly defined, managers can move to the second step. It implies identifying objectives for the project, which can include creating a new product or service, developing a new add-on, or even establishing a new branch. Setting clear objectives helps to keep the team focused and motivated to move towards the third step, which refers to determining the scope of the project.
Scope management process
Project scope management (often referred to as PSM) is a complex process that includes multiple steps. Firstly, there is a need to initiate a request. Then, managers gather document details that are going to be evaluated by executives and key stakeholders. The fourth step involves the prioritization of tasks and main objectives to create a clear timeline with an estimated delivery date. The sixth step is work authorization. Finally, the last step in the scope management process is performing work.
Plan Scope management
In the process of PSM planning, it is important to separate initial planning activities from other planning. This table demonstrates that in the planning process, one has to define inputs, tools, and outputs. In plan scope management, inputs include a project management plan, a project charter, organizational process assets, as well as enterprise environmental factors. Tools and techniques are mainly meetings and expert judgments. The primary output is a scope management plan that meets all the requirements.
Steps for identifying the scope of a project
The third and last step involved in project scope management is determining the scope of the project. This is a complex process that includes multiple tasks. They include defining project goals, scheduling sub-phases, allocating tasks, assigning roles in a team, assessing the resources, brainstorming budgeting strategies, and setting a realistic timeline. Once these steps are completed, managers must emphasize the importance of identifying project limitations as well as certain aspects that should not be included in a project.
The importance of a team
Teamwork is an excellent way to boost team performance and ensure each member is productive. It allows managers to combine various individuals with their unique set of skills and perspectives, which leads to more active idea generation. As a result, it becomes easier for a team to solve complex problems due to combined efforts. Teamwork also facilitates the development of common goals and shared values among employees. Working together keeps people motivated and gives them a sense of belonging by creating a positive work environment. Structuring the team’s activities enhances communication, which results in mutual learning and growth. Lastly, managers should focus on engaging employees and creating strong teams to generate commitment and ensure employee satisfaction.
Roles and responsibilities
In the scope management process, there are clearly defined roles and responsibilities of everyone involved. Clients, for example, initiate requests and participate in defining the requirements and expectations for each ad hoc request. Client contracting officer’s representatives (or CORs) are responsible for evaluating and prioritizing all the ad hoc requests. Together with stakeholders, they set expected results and integrate them into a realistic timeframe. CORs are also responsible for providing authorization and negotiating delivery dates.
Client contracting officers (or Cos) evaluate documented requests for ad hoc services to determine whether they fit within an existing scope. One of the essential parts of every project is being a great manager. A project manager (PM) documents requests for ad hic services, which he or she later presents to the COR. PMs are responsible for efficient communication between COs, CORs, and other members of the team. They are involved in the planning process as well since they often propose delivery dates based on request priorities (which are set by the COR). Lastly, the main task of a PM is overseeing the project’s execution.
Geek Express team members
The website creation, launch, and maintenance require joint efforts of designers, content creators, educators, managers, executives, and investors. Geek Express is an innovative platform that cannot be possible without all of the team members working on it. The project’s team includes marketing specialists, UI/UX designers, an editor, a content specialist, multiple accomplished educators, a graphic designer, a website developer, an SEO specialist, a customer support agent, as well as project managers.
Objectives of geek express
Geek Express’s main purpose is to create a virtual learning platform. It would serve as an affordable alternative to traditional education since all the materials and communication are going to be online. The project aims to connect students and teachers around the world. In addition, Geek Express must get top educators involved to ensure high quality of service. Lastly, the management of Geek Express recognizes the emerging issues of cybersecurity. Therefore, one of the main objectives of the project is ensuring there would be no data breaches so that clients’ private information is safe.
Resources and costs of the project
Defining the project’s scope requires a thorough analysis of its resources. They can be physical (tangible) or intellectual (intangible). Geek Express has five main groups of resources that include:
- Intellectual resources – specialized knowledge and software created for the website launch
- Human resources – team members working on Geek Express, including project managers, designers, web developers, customer support agents, marketing specialists, content creators, consultants, etc.
- Technological resources – servers, software, the Internet, and any other form of innovative technology utilized to create the platform
- Physical resources – mainly location and office space
- Financial resources – money used for project development, marketing, and maintenance
The estimated cost of the project is 500,000 AED.
Timeline for the project
To define the scope of Geek Express and navigate the best strategies for PSM, it is crucial to set up a clear and concise timeline for the project. Thorough planning keeps the team engaged, helps to mitigate risks, and ensures Geek Express delivers a product that is in accordance with customers’ expectations. The first phase is research of the market and customer needs, which should take about 2 weeks. The second step is planning the website’s layout and creating a wireframe. This is complex process that requires at least 4 to 5 weeks of work. Then, UI and UX designers are going to work on the majority of essential frameworks. Their work should make an estimate of 10 weeks. After that, content creators and editors are going to fill the platform with content, while web developers are going to finish assembly. This should take 6 weeks. Coding is the longest step in setting up Geek Express since it would take up to 15 weeks. Before the launch, it is integral for the team to do multiple rounds of testing and review, which would amount to about 3 weeks of work. The maintenance process requires a lot of data collection, monitoring, and fixing bugs.
Web-site creation: Project scope
In general, there is a common framework that is used for website creation. The team needs to define the project. It implies multiple brainstorming sessions to identify the objectives, resources, and tasks required to complete the project. This process usually involves a creative brief that helps a team prioritize their ideas. The next important step is preparing for architecture. The launch of an online learning platform, like any other web-based project, involves designer meetings, which lead to the development of frameworks for standardized systems. To get started, it is crucial to obtain team reviews and stakeholders’ approvals. It is also extremely important to prepare for the issues that might arise by distributing post-launch tasks beforehand.
Geek express project scope statement
Every scope statement needs to include five essential parts: scope description, project deliverables, acceptance criteria, constraints, and assumptions. Geek Express’ scope description is setting up an interactive website as a virtual learning platform with content from top educators and industry experts. The project’s deliverables have to be very clear. That is why Geek Express’ deliverables amount to more than 10,000 registered users on the platform. The project has to be approved by managers and stakeholders, which serves as acceptance criteria. The main constraint of Geek Express is rising competition in online education due to the pandemic. The main assumption is that the project is going to easily find educators and investors who would want to get involved.
The Value of project management
No project management means no organization, planning, and essentially no control. However, every successful project requires a structured approach to organize the work of a team and clearly define each member’s responsibilities. Project management saves time, money, and other resources by helping executives align the company’s day-to-day operations with its long-term objectives. The slide presents the results of a survey conducted by the Project Management Institute (PMI). These insights demonstrate that only 58% of businesses realize the importance of effective project management in terms of performance and financial profits (Kissflow Inc, 2020). The percentage of companies that strategically utilize project management to tackle the emerging issues and organize the work of their teams is 23% (Kissflow Inc, 2020).
Why project scope matters
Defining the scope of a project matters for some reasons. Firstly, it helps executives to develop efficient project scope management frameworks. In turn, this allows the company to prioritize its tasks and avoid common issues (Burzynski, 2017). PSM also helps to create a positive working environment by facilitating open communication. It also involves the process of managing the expectations of a team, customers, and other stakeholders (Burzynski, 2017). Project managers enable strategic alignment by defining the project’s objectives, available resources, and developing a realistic timeline.
Benefits of project management
Benefits of project management include effective communication, an opportunity to quality control, better resource allocation, ensuring higher risk tolerance, as well as high levels of flexibility and productivity. Effective communication within a team is extremely important since it is often the main cause of project failure (Kissflow Inc, 2020). Organized project management enables executives and team leaders to allocate resources according to existing objectives and a clearly defined timeline. Consistent project management keeps employees productive and highly flexible since they become a part of a well-structured system. Another positive outcome of effective project management is the ability to assess and control the quality of products or services. In addition, PM is an essential part of risk mitigation. It serves as the necessary framework to identify possible issues and prepare to resolve them.
The launch of a new project is often followed by numerous issues. The most common problems related to the creation of a new product/service include lack of planning, limited engagement of stakeholders, lifecycle issues, as well as missed deadlines. In addition, teams often face the challenges of vague requirements and miscommunication, which lead to internal conflict and reduced job performance, as a result. Inadequate funding originates from a lack of budget planning and stakeholder approval.
Various applicable solutions can be useful when integrated by the management team. Firstly, it is important to determine the project’s short- and long-term objectives by using effective approaches to goal setting such as SMART and CLEAR. Secondly, it is crucial to engage employees in team activities to facilitate open communication. As a result, managers can create a positive working climate, which can affect employee performance and job satisfaction. To avoid scope creep, the team working on the project needs to identify possible future clients and engage them during the planning phase. This way, managers can gain access to direct feedback. An excellent way to ensure accountability in a team is using collaborative software. As for stakeholders, it is extremely important to take input from them regularly.
PSM is an integral part of ant project that helps to keep it organized and strategically aligned. Defining the scope of Geek Express is detrimental to its success. A lot of issues that emerge during product development and after initial launch are related to a lack of clearly defined goals, deadlines, long-term objectives, and communication frameworks. PSM enables team leaders to distribute tasks appropriately and keep employees engaged. Apart from dealing with current problems, project scope management helps to mitigate future risks by facilitating the creation of frameworks for detecting issues beforehand.
Burzynski, G. (2017). Project scope — what it is and why it’s important. Medium. Web.
Kissflow Inc. (2020). Why is project management important for your organization? Web.
Mastal, R. (2020). From the archives: Benefits of a scope management plan. PM Times. Web.