Every successful project has a proper ‘scope of work‘ perfectly laid before it starts. The project owners and proponents often do not realize its importance. The probable reasons could be a waste of their time and money; however, it leads to project failure and not meeting the project deadline. In other words, it is called scope creep. Project Scope Management is the key solution to manage scope creep.

Scope of Work (SOW)

In the whole process of Project Scope Management, the scope of work is the most crucial stage. It is the process that provides the necessities of the project like the deadlines, aims, deliverables, assumptions, exclusions, project constraints, and expected results. The ‘Scope of work’ needs to be finely detailed and clearly stated. It can track time and confirm the next step. It operates by the wills and vision of the company and its shareholders.

How is the scope of the project defined?

It includes all the tasks required for the successful completion of the project. The project scope comes into the picture when we talk about project planning. It has all the documents, deliverables, project budget, goals, expectations, etc. Early defining the project scope brings better results. Any delay in project scope disturbs the schedule and budget of the project.

• Define the product requirements

If the project is about the sales of a product, then considerably, there is going to be more work than usual. You have to pen down the necessities for the product. Be clear with the details, emphasis on the functionality and features. You include here the branding instructions, look if the website or application needs a design check. The list might add a lot of different things.

• Define the process requirements

The process requirement states how the product interacts with the business processes it has to undergo. The process requirement phase deals with the data sent from one place to another, transactions, invoice generation, account management, etc. It needs to have a stage where one can keep an eye on the ongoing processes and their details.

• Select Shareholders wisely

For the lifetime of the plan, the correct shareholders have a prominent effect on the project. The right shareholders contribute timely to the project development and add value. If the wrong shareholders join, the plan comes into a critical precarious situation.

• Work Breakdown Structure

In this, each member of the team gets a piece of work. It denotes an arrangement according to the priority. You can use any of the project control software for Work Breakdown Structure. The task would be done on time and will not lead to the situation of Bottleneck.

• Identify the project constraints.

All things covered under the SOW are essential but those not covered are equally important. Especially when you are designing software or application, it is better to know the things which are not going to be included in it so that there is no doubt or load on the project budget.

• Change Management

When large projects execute, a lot of changes fall in the way. They are the ‘Scope creep’ wherein one or more parts of the plan may require alteration or more time. These changes are impersonated either by the company or shareholders, or clients. You can dodge the changes for a specified time. But some of them become unavoidable and thus require an alteration in the scoping plan.

To circumvent such cases, you should prepare a Change Management in advance. Change Management will have some unchangeable things. There is no Alteration throughout the lifetime of the plan.

Significance of Project Scope Management

Meeting the expectations of a client and the shareholder is the duty of every project manager. It is no less than a challenge for them to ensure everything completes before the deadline. With the help of SOW predefined, they can formulate things in a more organized manner. An accurately defined SOW provides the industry requirement, cost of processes, approximate time required, and extra stuff involved in the plan. It kicks out the unnecessary stuff and things of waste of time and money.

The SOW also clarifies briefly regarding the next step forward before the next plan. Each step comes with some protocols and instructions.

workflow strategy
Workflow strategy | Image Credit: Tammy Duggan-Herd/Pixabay

These are followed and taken care of:

Scope of Project saves you from things like

  • Changing things after the project initiation
  • Project going astray
  • Different result than expected
  • Budget overflow of the company
  • Crossing the deadlines

Defining a scope with the Clients

The diverse band of clients has different expectations from the system. The perfect Scope of Work meets the expectation of every client. The only possible solution to do this is communication with the clients and understanding their needs and requests. It engulfs the study of feedback from the previous clients to pay attention to their concerns. It tries to evade it from the new plan. The attention given to the clients and their interests in return increases the sale of the product. It also adds to the development of the system.

Conclusion

A well-defined scope of work ensures the smooth functioning of the processes. It also guarantees the success of the work planned. The effective SOW ensures the work meets the deadline. There are no problems such as budget overflow or no sudden change in the plan was brought to consideration. It also makes the agreement transparent between the company and its shareholders.

The proper utilization of money and bid on the customer’s request should be crystal clear. SOW is the first work to do while starting with any company. SOW affects the plan till the end. It becomes infeasible to meet expectations without abiding Scope of Work.