Demand Realistic Project Scope Statement

Demand Realistic Project Scope Statement

Project meetings have an interesting tradition; they can either be pleasant reminders of a dysfunctional relationship or mustaches that you just can’t live with. This article describes a simple system which will identify a realistic project scope as well as set out the ideal criteria for generating project scope.

The project stakeholders conduct an initial cost-benefit assessment under the guise of a project review, i.e. an assessment of the likely costs of the requested change and the likely benefits derived from it. The review starts with staff and perhaps the sponsor, then moves on to everyone’s responsibilities, and then to the wider operational area. This does not have to be a long avenue and if an initial cost/benefit assessment is simply too much for the group, they can simply skip the review and just move forward at a later time. Soon, a critical mass of support will result in the suggested change, the costs and benefits will be more well understood and the need for change will be apparent, with the possibility for change going ahead.

Demand Realistic Project Scope Statement
Demand Realistic Project Scope Statement

In many cases, they may choose to err on the side of cost benefit, that is, immediately, rather than screening and writing down their initial view into the overall scope. This has the advantage that everyone is in the same boat, with the defined list to color the waters, rather than working on choices with unknown waters. Also, you will have a clear link to the existing system, which can minimize or eliminate the need to re-engineering the system. Accuracy and reliability are also good 250/10 performance indicators to bear in mind.

There is a useful phase by phase process which, because it’s simple, is very effective and adaptable.

1. Screen the initial impact of the options. Require the project sponsor to define the purpose, vision and values of the project at this first stage and describe as expanded, and perhaps far-reaching, the aim and objectives of the proposed change.

2. Ask the business owner about the financial implications of the upgrade, as they apply to other departments or their business as a whole.

3. Turn the discussion to similar pieces of the total system. Using an example from the project

Accounting

A key issue is to define the advantages and disadvantages of installing or upgrading the accounting system. This is important for recommending management and technical

to agree on among others what system is likely to provide the core capability and which options will help facilitate the integration and provide additional value.

An initial estimate will include the cost of the upgrade, consultant fees, actual costs and estimates for hardware and software components.

4. Prioritise the options which support the top 3 scenarios Global Windows, Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Small Business Server 2008, Exchange Server Storm and PowerPoint Server 2008, identifies the critical areas, risks and opportunities.

5. If the option does not fit, evaluate why. A change which solves one problem will not necessarily fix another, but failing to account for possible downfalls could mitigate the benefits achieved.

The change options simply refer to an upgrade to the system component that is considered most critical, or that has highest ” compute effort” or associated costs, with the other options given an order and weighting of 1, 2 or 3, based on performance, business requirements and security, cost, recovery timescale, possible risks and impact.

6. Identify the criteria for evaluation. From the identified issues – into the process – the criteria will be used to agree the actual impact of the upgrade to the specific business areas. If the project sponsor requires a design, maintain and service agreement, and verifiable-by-ives, then that particular business area or group is the most critical.

7. A resource to conduct the review formal and informal, and where the audit is to occur, from a sound risk management perspective, against the same business benefits, priorities and scope. There should also be an agenda which addresses key issues and administers how much time is allocated for the actual review, what are the key questions that the assessors will pose and the value to everyone involved in the business. The exercise will provide valuable information for effective decision making, give an objective view of whether or not as “aready” design / upgrade is appropriate, what is in it for the business as whole, the actual implementation of the upgrade and the impact on the support structure.

8. Use of “shopping” templates will reduce the amount of time spent on the initial review.

9. As the assessment evolves, the review of the requirements and their impact can be split into more detail, as appropriate.

10. Finance Requirements

Looking at finance requirements will typically be met with the greatest degree of challenge, as finance sections may be very inflexible or conflicting with other processes and management realities, if the acquisition of the relevant management support and end-users’ support is required.

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