How to align expectations with your client by providing real-time insights on project scope and time

5 min read

Aligning expectations with clients, stakeholders and management are essential to ensure successful projects. In this guide, we will provide you with 6 steps to facilitate and align expectations.

  1. Collect project requirements and define the scope
  2. Scope your project
  3. Align Project scope & budget
  4. Verify the scope & budget and get your client approval
  5. Use Time tracking for aligning your organization
  6. Keep stakeholders on the same page

Step 1: Collect project requirements and define the scope

Start by clearly defining the Statement of Work (SOW). The SOW can also be seen as the formal agreement on the initiation of the project or even the sales proposal for your client. 

Together with your client, brainstorm the idea, define the requirements, and carefully create the SOW. It's equally as important to make sure your team understands the vision as well when moving through the implementation funnel. 

Easily upload the SOW in Forecast, and make sure you, your team and client always have access to what was agreed.

 

Step 2: Scope your project

Forecast is a complete solution. From setting up your SOW to moving your tasks from to-do to done, and finally to budgeting. When you have agreed on the SoW you can start scoping the project in Forecast. Start by splitting the project in to smaller phases and determine the list of specific goals, deliverables, tasks, roles, deadlines and of course ultimately the cost of your project.

In Forecast each phase is called Milestone and houses a number of tasks or work that make up the milestone and is needed to be completed in order to deliver on the Milestone and at the end of the project.

Add time estimations to each Task and dates to Milestones and benefit from the Forecast AI. The AI uses data from your previous projects to help you determine the length of the task and by that make sure the project stays within budget, time and scope.

Each task will need a person or role assigned to it. If you decide to scope your project with only roles assigned to the tasks, you will benefit from the people page in Schedule afterwards. 

Scoping_a_Project_milestone_view

There you can get an overview of your people and their utilization. Based on their allocation and time you can drag & drop the unassigned tasks to a person with the right skills.

unassigned tasks

 

3. Align Project scope & budget

The Project Budget in Forecast is intelligently connected to make your job easier. Roles, team member, rate cards and clients are all connected to give you the best possible estimations and budget for your projects.

You can either choose to have your budget calculated based on money or hours. See the previous economy of the project, the remaining funds, and the expected profit calculated by the estimates from our AI. Based on your employees' internal cost, rates, estimated hours, the tasks that are part of the project and time registrations you are able to see the progression in the budget - when you’ve used all the money, or if you are on track. The budget can also be downloaded and shared with your client if you like.

Project Budget-1

4. Verify the scope & budget and get your client approval

Once you have completed the scoping process, it will look like this on the Timeline.

Scoping_a_Project_timeline_view
 

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 and budget you can go back to the Scoping page and approve the tasks, add tasks and align the workload with your employees.

Every change is of course reflected in Forecast - whether it is how your people are utilized, the budget or the deadline.

5. Use Time tracking for aligning your organization

Now you are ready to start working. If you haven’t already done it, make sure every team member knows what to work on, by assigning them to their individual tasks. If you work in sprints you can plan the tasks, or simply prioritize them in the Workflow. The Workflow is a KanBan board that provides you with a visual overview of how the tasks are progressing.

Accordingly to the progression of the tasks, each team member needs to registrer time. Based on these time registrations the Forecast AI helps you with future project planning, but it also helps you monitor the progression of the project. And in the end make sure you deliver on time.

At Forecast we take time very serious. Therefore we want to make time registrations as intuitive and easy as possible. At the Timesheet page every team member can registrer time based on the work they’ve done, but they also see suggested tasks that our AI suggest based on the task they are assigned to, the dates and much more.

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6. Keep stakeholders on the same page

Now that everything is set and the team has started working, you have to make sure everyone stays aligned. But how will you tackle scope creep and changes to the project?

Scope creep often begins with minor changes or feedback from your client, and then suddenly it turns into several days or weeks of extra work. Mind you, the original scope of the project did not include that additional work.

A way of tackling this potential danger is to invite your client to Forecast. Give them real-time insight into the project and let them see how adjustments or new ideas will affect the initially defined scope and budget. Or whenever you receive feedback on the deliverables, make sure to distinguish the input from what is a simple adjustment to your work from an entirely new task.

Task Followers

You can even add the client as a Follower or Owner to a task and give them an understanding of how even small tasks can affect the projects scope, budget, and deadline.

If you prefer not to invite your client in to Forecast, you can easily share the project scope, budget, create customizable reports and much more with your clients. Just generate a link and share it with them.

Sharing Reports with Clients

Either way, you will experience the benefit of providing your clients with this transparency and reduce the number of emails, calls, and check-ins you will need to have otherwise with them.

 

Deliver on time, budget and within scope

The connectivity in Forecast helps you deliver as promised by simply ensuring everyone is on the same page while providing you with the insights you need to have. This means that you are able to see even the smallest changes in real-time. When your employees are working in the Workflow, completing Tasks & registering time, you can see the progression.

With Forecast you will experience that moving from only having time to focus on the project to freeing up time for more client facing tasks becomes easy. Simply because you have everything connected.

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