Guide: How to best scope your project and avoid scope creep

3 min read

Scope creep often begins with minor changes, waiting for feedback from your client or underestimated tasks and then suddenly it turns into several days or weeks of extra work. In result, it could make the project run overtime, stretch your resources, and push other projects and clients further from their completion dates.

Below we’ve collected some actionable tips on how you can scope your project with Forecast and avoid potential scope creep.

The Scoping section is where you plan out your project, mainly determining and documenting the list of specific goals/milestones, deliverables, tasks, deadlines, and of course, ultimately the cost of your project.

 

Step 1: Collect Project Requirements and define the scope

Start by clearly defining the Statement of Work (SOW). Make sure you understand the idea and expectations of your client. Together with your client, brainstorm the idea, define the requirements, and carefully create the SOW. You can create a work breakdown schedule by splitting the project in smaller phases (milestones) and adding tasks within a milestone. It's equally as important to make sure your team understands the vision as well when moving through the implementation funnel. When you put dates to your Milestones you will be able to see a Gantt chart of the scoped project in the Timeline view of your project.

 

Scoping_a_Project_milestone_view

 

Step 2: Verify the scope and get your client approval

Once you have completed Scoping out your project, it will look like this on the Timeline. You can use the scoped out project to pitch the project to your client. This provides both you and your clients with a visual understanding and overview of how the project will be, how it is progressing, and what will happen if any changes are made. After you’ve discussed and verified the scope you can go back the Scoping page and approve the tasks.

 

Scoping_a_Project_timeline_view

 

Step 3: Monitor the scope and establish a process in collecting change requests

Giving your client a view into your process by inviting them to Forecast can be a great way of ensuring a more collaborative and transparent workflow. Forecast allows you only to give the access you find appropriate, whether that is a limited view as a Client or the perspective of a team member as a Collaborator. In the case, that new requests may pop up along the way, make sure to explain to your clients the process of adding new tasks to the project.

You can create a Workflow that allows your client to submit tasks requests.

 

Scoping_a_Project_workflow_view

 

Step 4: Calculate the price of completing extra work

You can always refer back to the initial SOW whenever your client is suggesting new features or some changes. If a task is initially deemed out of scope and thereby disapproved, you can easily create a new extended proposal in just a few seconds. Through the rate cards, roles, and time estimations linked to the project and new task(s), you will instantly be able to see the price of completing the extra work. This is a great way to do extended sales proposals based on single tasks or a group of new requests submitted by your client. If the project is accepted, you can quickly move the tasks along, either directly to the to-do column for immediate implementation, or to an upcoming milestone or sprint, simply by ticking the Approved box.

 

Scoping_a_Project_new-request-milestone_view

 

Following the 4 steps above should significantly improve your stakes of dealing with scope creep. No matter, if you're eagerly taking on extra work, or instead prefer moving further requirements and requests to a separate project - these steps can hopefully help you out.

 

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