A continuing post in the Project 911 series…

Your project is going sideways, it’s in critical condition and you can’t figure out why.  One of your first steps will be to confirm scope, right?  Do we as a team really understand what we’re trying to accomplish?  Not only requirements, but the project objectives.  The bigger picture.

Think of a telescope – it helps us see what we cannot see.  Project scope is similar as it illuminates the “why.”  We often focus on requirements and tasks, but what is the bigger picture.  What about the objectives or key goals of the project.  Will these requirements and tasks deliver on what we intended to accomplish.

Another way of thinking about scope.  You’re painting a room.  Simple right, you break down the requirements (color, brand of paint, supplies) and identify all the tasks.  Defining scope as part of the project initiation process group will help you understand where the room fits in the overall scheme of the house.  Did you pick the right color, is this the right room, are there other areas of the house that are higher priority?  Scope answers these and other “why” questions.

First step to resuscitating your critical project is to get your team together and make sure you understand scope – map out the goals and boundaries of the project.  Clearly define the overall objectives and reconcile them with the work that is already underway.  Align scope with the expectations of your stakeholders.  Be sure everyone understands the “why.”

If you feel good about your project scope, check out the next post in the Project 911 series – the Project Team.