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to execute what project? is that not scope?
Eduin, I agree in principle with Krishna.
Even at it's most sparse - the articulation of a single goal - would constitute scope. So while the 'final' scope would presumably include all the things PMs normally associate with the term "project scope", unless your client has said "We're going to do a project and we'll figure out what it will be for later.", chances are there is scope buried in the goal.
As an example, US president Kennedy articulated the goal "To land a man on the moon and bring him back safely". The formal scope of the project was unknown at the time, yet money and resources were allocated to proceed.
Even in Cris example there is a scope define, limited but one.
I believe in the first project of the program they define more clearly the scope of the program and subsequent projects.
I believe the answer lies more clearly in the purpose of the project. There are two dramatically different suggestions here.
First, there is the limited context, where people recognize there might be a problem, an inefficiency, but it has not been clearly defined. The first part of the effort might be a project to simply isolate and define the scope of what needs to be done. Many, if not most of these projects start with something known in daily life that, in simple terms, 'needs fixing.'
Then, there are those projects, such as exploration of the moon, which had not been done before, no one really knew how and what it would take, but the decision was made to organize an effort, make use, in this case, of technology developed in both the US and Germany, perhaps also France, and extend its power to reach the moon. That took a lot of projects as well, before it happened, but it started with a modest scope, giving the development teams the direction they needed to extend the scope as they came to clearly undwerstand what it would take for space flight, safety, and the return to earth.
You ever has an scope defined. The point is the degree of the detail. So, it is perfectly possible and the project manager must be aware of the risk.
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