In this chapter, we talked about a very important document, the project s scope document. The scope of a project consists of four basic elements: the justification for the project, the product the project is going to produce, the deliverables that make up the product, and the criteria by which we ' l l judge the project' s success.

In order to produce that, you have to accumulate some basic information:

■ Start by describing the background of the project. Why is this project needed?

What possible good can come from putting so much time and resources into the project?

■ Next, delineate the deliverables of the project. With IT projects, deliverables can be esoteric, and you need to make sure you' ve clearly enumerated the items the customer can expect.

■ Also describe the deliverables' creation strategy. What are you going to do in order to create these?

■ State the targeted completion date; you can include a specific date or a range of dates such as the quarter and year.

■ Identify the budgetary resources you ' l l require.

■ Then pay quite a bit of attention to the risks that you see associated with the project. Dor example, if a new online catalog project stands to make only a certain amount of money in a very short time window, what are the risks if the project deploys too slowly to really recoup the expected profit?

■ Pinpoint the project' s priority, in the pecking order of projects.

■ Mention the tools and resources that you' ve already determined you' l l use.

■ Finally, talk about the assumptions you' ve made regarding the availability of necessary resources.

Certain scope elements play into a well-written scope document. You should include the stakeholders in your scope document. You should also mention the requirements needed for successful completion of the project. The requirements can include those that are mandatory and those that are optional.

The time/quality/budget slider is of importance to you when planning projects. The more you can commit to one or two of these areas, the better you can expect the third to be, and vice versa. If you have to limit one of these, you probably have to make up for that in the other areas.

Finally, we talked about the importance of evaluating rules and regulations that might play a specific role in your project' s implementation.

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