Project scoping is one of the most important elements of starting a new project for any business, no matter how big or small you may be.
You could change the way you run your daily operations, introducing a new product or service to your lines or completely changing your computer data system or the structure of your business; these all define as projects.
With this in mind, it’s important to remember that you can’t jump straight into a project with your fingers crossed just to see how it pans out while hoping for the best. It takes careful planning and observations to make sure that you’re making the right decisions, so you don’t cripple your business.
Today, we’re going to explore a step-by-step method you can use to accurately manage and implement your project scoping process, helping you to aim and achieve the best results while minimising the number of problems you experience along the way.
Step #1 – Identify the Problem
The beginning of any project is always going to start because you’re trying to solve or address a certain problem in your business, no matter what that may be. This makes it realise that the absolute first step you need to take in your project scoping process is to identify this problem clearly, making sure that you research it, so you understand all the ins and outs and effects that it has on your business.
For example, let’s say you’re planning to redesign your website. This is going to have an obvious effect on your customers in the form of views, sales and perhaps even potential downtime. However, this could also affect your staff since if no orders are made, they’ll have no orders to process. Other customers may try getting in touch with you via phone if they can’t via your website, which means your customer service department may be overwhelmed.
Step #2 – Setting On Details
With all the information you have on the problem itself, and the idea of how to solve it in your mind, you’ll then want to start working out the details of the project itself. The main considerations you’ll have here are budget and time. You’ll want to set an accurate completion date for your project, so you know that it’s well-managed.
Duncan Taylor, a project manager for Big Assignments, shares, “If it’s a long project, you may even want to think about noting down milestones along the way, so you can know exactly where you need to be in the project and when.”
Step #3 – Zero in on Specifics
The next step you’ll want to take is drawing your attention over to the actual specifics of your project by thinking outside the box. Most importantly, you’ll want to consider the laws and regulations that are surrounding your project. These can be researched on sites like Academized to save time on other important project tasks.
For example, you might be renovating your car park in front of your offices. This will require some level of planning permission, and in some cases, a government or council official will need to come and run surveys on the land. With any project that you’re implementing, always look into the legal side of things and remember to consider any cost or time factors this will entail.
“Additionally, you’ll need to think about the stakeholders in your business and how they will be affected by the project. If someone has a direct link into your business, whether this is in the form of a partnership, agreement, or even a bank or loan provider, they will need to be told about the project, as well as their concerns noted and addressed” says Nick Anderson, a project consultant for Paper Fellows.
Step #4 – Think About Risk Management
Of course, even with all the careful planning in the world, problems are still going to occur within projects, so you’ll need to make sure that you’re doing everything you can in order to prevent this from happening. Look at the timeline of your project and the detailed plan of what’s going to happen to make sure that you identify any potential areas where problems may arise.
While some issues are going to be easy to identify, for example in the car park situation, you’ll need proper fencing to keep employees and members of the public outside of the dangerous site, others may not be so easy to find, such as a problem in securing materials which is unexpected.
When you’re setting the times and budget for your project, make sure you leave some to the side to cover for these potential eventualities.
As you can see, there are many things you can stop to consider during your scoping process before implementing your project. This level of organisation can save you so much time and money in the future and is a worthwhile investment if you want your next project to be a success.