Writing a Scope Statement: Part 2

Prerequisites, Deliverables and Non-Goals

The subsequent section inside the scope statement should list the prerequisites of the project. The prerequisites are targets that needs to be met throughout the project, and frequently they include major milestones or targets. The goals must be quantifiable and recognized clearly. Any milestones or objectives have to be also clearly recognized, along with any non-goals. Non-goals are items which are specifically not likely to be addressed through the project, which really helps to get rid of the scope creep. By clearly identifying these as non-goals, the scope cannot contain them afterwards without undergoing a change management process. Ultimately, many project managers track their milestones, targets, and/or deliverables by using a Work Breakdown Structure.

The deliverables for a project have to be clearly recognized within a scope statement. If needed, deliverables must be tied to certain milestones within the project schedule. The deliverables also have to be agreed upon by the major stakeholders along with the project owner. Deliverables might include any training required for personnel at the culmination of the project. Or deliverables might be a final product to be offered for the stakeholders. Regardless of what comprises a project's deliverables, particular details concerning them is the golden principle. The more clearly the deliverables are recognized and described, the less chance there'll be for scope creep to happen afterwards.

Cost estimates for the project also needs to be contained in the scope statement. This really is an important procedure for project planning, so the cost estimates needs to be as precise as possible. If the cost estimates are too low, the project will go over budget - occasionally drastically so. When the cost estimates are way too high, resources which are assigned to the project - whether they are funds, equipment or people - are not available for other projects and might negatively affect them. So the more focused the cost estimates are, the more efficient and profitable the project will be. This is often a difficult task for the project manager to do, but successful cost management is a critical success element for projects.

Finalization and Approval

The final substantial portion of a scope statement is the formal approval signatures. After the project manager has put together all the documentation into a brief and straightforward statement, every one of the major stakeholders along with the project owner need to sign off on it. It is a very important step and will be a very useful tool in mitigating scope creep too. A meeting needs to be held where everybody can be supplied a duplicate of the scope statement. During those times, any mistakes can be solved or last minute adjustments could be made. Once everybody signs off on the scope statement, there must be settlement between all parties plus the project can begin. By having everybody sign the scope statement, there's almost no chance of surprises as time goes on. And in case something does show up, there's documentation of the thing that was decided in the beginning to ensure that changes could be made if required. If something does change as time goes on and the scope needs to be increased for whatever reason, signatures needs to be obtained from everybody once again.

Extensively detailed specifics, straightforward and brief language throughout, and avoiding ambiguity would be the keys to creating a scope statement effective and valuable. It's also very good to have all this information noted in one place - even though the procedure of developing it's enormous. The duty of making a scope statement can involve significant amounts of time for any project manager, however the rewards usually incorporate more successful projects and minimized scope creep throughout. Which will be a highly appealing benefit, as scope creep is generally a substantial cause of project failure. So record whenever possible, as clearly as it can be, and ensure everybody involved understands what's expected. Through straightforward and brief documentation, a scope statement's performance shines all the way up to project success.