Project charter/Project Initiation Document (PID)
Large and complex projects will need to undertake considerably more scoping work once the initial business case receives approval. It is expected that there will be a formal statement which may be variously known as a scoping document, quality plan, project charter or Project Initiation Document (PID).
Smaller scale projects may combine the initial overview document and the more detailed PID but all projects require some form of documentation clearly outlining the project management framework and methodology. As a minimum this should contain: roles and responsibilities; details of the project management approach; an outline plan; risks; assumptions; and constraints.
Scoping the project
It is important when scoping a project to ensure that details are clear with minimal possibility of misinterpretation or confusion on the part of stakeholders. It should be clear from the outset what is and is not included in the scope of the project. This will help avoid potential difficulties arising from any unscoped additions on the task load, ultimately causing slippage in the progress of the project.
It will also help you manage stakeholder expectations by communicating clearly what you will and won’t deliver. A project may meet all of its objectives yet still be perceived as a failure by stakeholders if they have misunderstood the scope of the project and expect to receive benefits you are unable to deliver.
An example of this could include the scoping of a timetabling system: will the system hold courses or examinations? Or both? If the project scope includes only courses then the possibility of inclusion of examinations would be outside of the original scope.
It can often prove quite difficult to keep within scope given that additional suggestions can be closely linked to the original initiative. Changing the scope of the project frequently poses risks in terms of keeping to budget and deadlines but it is important to realise that scope change may also offer opportunities to derive previously unforeseen benefits.
Conversely you may also need to descope items from time to time in order to keep within project tolerance limits. The key to managing your project scope is to include a formal change control mechanism within your project methodology.