Establishing Scope

Kenneth has 14 years of healthcare experience in government and private industry. Over eight years of experience managing healthcare IT projects, operations, contracts, and personnel. His work experience includes project management, contracts and procurements, data analysis, claims adjudication, business writing, and business process modeling. Kenneth was certified in 2006 as a Project Management Professional.

A project cannot be considered complete unless you know what you are trying to accomplish; you need to establish the scope first and foremost. Whether you do this in a scope statement, a contract or some other vehicle, you need to establish that scope so that everyone involved in the project—from the executive-level stakeholders to the project schedulers—understand what the outcomes of the project will be.

Without this crucial first step being performed correctly, the rest of the project will be in danger—no matter how many great people you have working on it or how great the goals are for the project.

The Big Picture
Getting your arms and mind around the big picture is the first step in establishing the scope. Perhaps the project started out as a very simple change to an existing system, or perhaps it was an idea to completely replace an existing system.

Whatever the case, it is important that the project manager and the executive sponsor for the project can clearly communicate what that ultimate goal is. Without this understanding, many branches of the project can go off in different, unforeseen directions. The big picture should establish the baseline for the scope.

Talking It Over
As you paint that picture for your team, stakeholders and finance people, you need to step back and take a good hard look at it. In fact, you should not be looking …

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