In this chapter, we continued our dialog about the scope document— that Magna Carta that gets your project authorized and rolling.

First, we talked about the roles and responsibilities that various entities associated with the project would assume. You describe the project team in the scope document. A variety of technological types may be necessary when implementing an IT project: database specialists, server gurus, even graphic artists. A very important project team member—one who ' s often overlooked—is the business expert who can keep the team directed toward meeting the business need the project is intended to solve. The project manager is the most important member of the team, not because he holds the technological keys to the kingdom, but because he controls the communications that makes the team work together toward the common goal. The PM is like a colonel marshaling troops around the base of a hill that they've been ordered to take. It' s not incumbent on him to know everything there is to know about the technology involved, but to utilize the people who can in turn operate the technology towards the capturing of that hill.

We then moved on to discuss the overall viability assessment of the project. Several constraints may come into motion—items that can act as friction or guide rail to the forward momentum of the project. Among them are:

Project end date

■ Monetary resources and allocations

■ Project requirements

■ Completion criteria

■ Priorities

■ Relative priority of cost, schedule, and scope

■ Project ownership

■ Mandated tools and other resources

■ Change control

■ Vendor terms and conditions

■ Company terms and conditions

■ Best practices life cycle

■ Required reviews of deliverables

Dinally, we talked about the importance of obtaining a formal sign-off of the scope document by the project sponsor.

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