What Your Coworker Really Means When They Say ‘Out Of Scope’
In project management, out of scope is a crucial term to be aware of. Out of scope refers to any deviation from the predetermined tasks and project deliverables set out in the original project scope. This can be anything from an extension on the deadline to a change in the requirements for the project.
Anything out of scope can significantly impact a project, so it’s important to stay vigilant and make sure that all changes are communicated effectively and appropriately documented. This article will explore out of scope in greater detail and discuss why it’s such an important concept in effective project management.
Always set up the scope for your project
If you have been in the business for a while, you may have heard the project management terms “scope” and “out of scope” thrown around. Setting the scope of a project is the step that sets the tone or lays the roadmap for a project. A scope can be described as a list of work and deliverables that need to be completed in order for the project to be considered a success.
The scope should be agreed upon by both the client and contractor and any deviation from that predetermined scope is categorized as out of scope. In essence, you cannot have anything that is “out of scope” if the initial scope of a project is not established. So, both scope and out of scope work together within the lifecycle of a project.
How do you keep projects within the scope?
In its simplest form, out of scope is anything that falls outside the original agreed-upon boundaries for a project. This includes additional tasks, changes in requirements or deadlines, and anything that is not explicitly mentioned in the original scope. But when you set the scope of a project, how do you keep projects on task without going outside of the scope? Here are a few tips to stay within the scope of a project:
- Have a clear and concise scope document agreed upon by both the contractor and client.
- Use change management procedures to track and approve any changes to the project.
- Communicate effectively with all stakeholders involved in the project.
- Keep an eye on the project schedule and ensure that all tasks are aligned with the deadlines.
- Use project management software, so everyone is on the same page.
If you adhere to these key tips, you should be able to keep your projects on track and within scope. However, out of scope work can still happen, so it’s essential to have a plan for dealing with it.
Prepare for out of scope requests before they happen
It’s the nature of the beast. Out of scope requests will happen. However, for you to prepare for these requests, you need to understand how they will affect your project. By preparing for out of scope work before it happens, you can avoid many of the problems that come with it.
The best way to avoid these problems is to plan for out of scope work before it happens. Have a process in place to deal with changes, and make sure that all project stakeholders know their roles and responsibilities. Document everything so there is a clear understanding of what is expected from everyone involved.
Out of scope work can significantly impact a project if not managed properly. It can cause delays, increased costs, and frustration among all stakeholders involved. While out of scope work can be a headache for any project manager, you can minimize the damage it can cause if you are prepared for it and have a well-defined project review process in place. By understanding what out of scope is and how to deal with it, you can keep your projects on track and within budget.
Examples of out of scope projects
There can be many things that fall out of the original scope of a project. But some of the more common out of scope items include:
- Additional tasks or changes to the requirements
- Changes in deadlines
- Anything not explicitly mentioned in the original scope document
- Unplanned work or expenses
- Budgetary constraints that were not taken into account during scoping
These out of scope projects often pop up during the day-to-day project management. Also called “scope creep,” this common problem can change the trajectory of a project. Scope creep occurs when the project’s original scope starts to change, often due to requesting additional tasks from the client. While out of scope requests should not completely stop a project, they can sometimes pause projects and, if they make sense, can sometimes alter the scope of your project completely.
In scope vs. out of scope: a comparison
Below is a specific example of a digital marketing project that can you identify a few examples of in scope vs. out of scope projects:
- Developing and implementing a social media strategy
- Generating leads through social media channels
- Optimizing a website for search engines
Out of scope:
- Creating or managing the company’s Facebook page or Twitter account
- Generating leads through outbound telemarketing or other methods not related to digital marketing
In this example, developing a social media strategy is in scope, while creating or managing a company’s Facebook page is out of scope. Likewise, generating leads through outbound telemarketing is also out of scope since it is not related to digital marketing. By understanding the difference between in scope and out of scope items, you can better manage your projects and avoid confusion and conflict among internal and external stakeholders.
Use project management software to manage scope creep
Stay one step ahead of scope creep with a project management software program like Hive. Hive is a project management tool that allows you to manage your projects and tasks and track changes and updates. With Hive, you can easily create a scope document for your project and keep all stakeholders informed of any changes. You can also use Hive to monitor your budget and track expenses so you stay within budget while dealing with out of scope requests.