Part 3: Scope Control in the Planning Phase
During the Planning Phase of your project, you prepare your Project Plan. See related post on project management processes below.
Simulate Your Project
Once your Project Plan is approved, you are committed to it. So you want to make sure that you have thought of everything when preparing your scope for your Project Plan. Remember that your scope is the basis for your WBS, Schedule and Budget.
A good way of making sure you have thought of everything is to do a mental simulation of your project: mentally walk through the execution of your project and write down everything that could have an effect on your schedule and budget. Doing this mental simulation will certainly help you improve your project scope.
Another good way of improving your scope is to use historical data if whenever available: consult with people who have worked on similar projects and read lessons learned documents from related projects. Historical Data is often used for helping you make cost estimates, but it can also be used to help you with your scope.
Once you are comfortable with your scope, create your Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). This will facilitate discussing your scope with your customer in the next step.
Verifying your scope with your customer serves two purposes: first it helps you improve your scope and it also involves the customer, which is very important for the success of your project.
Once you have done all of the above (see also part 1 and 2) you should be comfortable to start scheduling and budgeting your project. Then document everything in your Project Plan and have it approved.
In the next post we will discuss Scope Control in the Execution Phase of your projects.