If you’re planning on developing a new website, or software for the web, scope is a crucial and vital step when beginning the process. It’s key to get your vision right from start to finish. If you’ve never heard of ‘scoping a project,’ the definition is relatively simple;
Scope refers to the development of a work outline and plan of attack to complete a project, start to finish. It includes a thorough inventory of required resources and timeline to accurately predict a project’s outcome. That includes everything from the initial planning and requirement gathering stages, up to the deliverables and meeting criteria for project completion. A good scope ensures that the project will stay on tasks, reduces the risk of going over budget, and helps to keep everyone working on the project on the same page.
Scope has specific sections that will help to keep your project running seamlessly, including:
- Setting the direction and tone of the project (statement of work)
- Project scope statement (what is needed to complete the project)
- Breakdown of the work needed to be done
Essentially, scope is the blueprint for your project. So, everyone involved needs to be able to understand it and follow-through on the plan just by looking at this outline.
If you want to learn more about what a project scope actually is or how to scope a project, check out the video below for more information:
Is web design project scope necessary? If you want your project done in a timely manner and without hiccups, then yes. It is essential to stick to a budget and significantly reduces the risk of someone going off course. Scope outlines that needs to be done and bringing up new items outside of the scope typically is the only way a budget can drastically change. A scope also takes an idea from the confines of your mind and fleshes it out in a way which a software developer can write it as code. It is one of the best ways to bring your concepts to life and make sure everyone working on it understands what you’re looking for and what your goals are from the start.
If you want to put a scope together, the basics are simple:
- Write down your necessary features and functions
- Define your goals
- Use a template to keep your ideas organized
Alternatively, working with a local web design agency or code shop means you can request a project scope prior to beginning your development work. If you’re working with a provider that is not comfortable creating one for you, you can find someone else or write a scope document yourself.
How to Start Your Scope
The whole point of creating a scope is to do it at the very beginning of a project. Again, this document sets the entire tone for your project and will make it easier to recognize your goals and objectives from the start.
If you’re on a tight budget, creating your scope at the start of a project will also let you know whether you have any wiggle room in your finances, and how closely you need to follow the plan in order to stick within budget.
A scope is meant to be a concrete plan from beginning to end. Making changes in your scope can lead to major headaches, including:
- Changes in your budget
- Hiring more developers
- Using more project management time to get the job done
- Changes in technology stacks
Changing your scope late into the project can cause delays and disrupt your deadlines. If you have a strict time frame or budget to work with, that kind of delay can end up causing your project to collapse.
If you’re creating your own scope it is important to be as detailed as possible. If you’re hiring a web developer to create a scope for you, be aware of plans that seem too “loose”. You want as many details as possible to ensure everything will stay on track and your time and budget won’t be negatively affected.
When talking to a developer, make sure you use clear and concise language and don’t be afraid to be as detailed as possible with your needs and wants. Talk about the technology you want to use and any features you want to showcase. This will give the developers you work with a better idea of where to start.
Developers Understand the Importance of Scopes
If you want to work with an experienced web developer (which can certainly make life easier if you have a complicated project in mind), then a scope becomes even more important. In fact, most developers will be hesitant to work with clients who don’t have a scope or aren’t willing to let them put one together.
Why won’t a web developer work with you without a documented scope?
First, without a scope, there is no sense of direction, and that means the project can be incredibly time-consuming. Additionally, who wants to work on anything without some form of completion criteria and knowing the required time commitment?
Consider this; if you were given a task at a new job and you didn’t have any direction or information as to how your boss wanted it done, how would you feel? Not only would it be an overwhelming experience for you, but you would probably end up hurting the business. It would take you much longer to complete the project than if you had a clear plan at the beginning. Time costs money, and of course, this waste likely causes the project to go over budget, too.
The same applies for working with a client that doesn’t have a scope. Web developers want to work with you to make sure you have the best possible outcome for your project. A scope points them in the right direction and helps to ensure that the client is happy with the final product.
Additionally, if you don’t have a scope, some web development companies will not work with you. That might sound crazy at first, right? After all, what web developer wouldn’t want extra business? But, experienced web developers are in high-demand, and they will want to work with clients who have the best likelihood of being successful in reaching project goals. Those clients will not only help to maximize the developer’s earnings but help to ensure a positive rate of satisfaction for everyone.
Dealing With Deliverables
A set of deliverables helps to determine when the project is complete. Everything that was covered within the scope should be delivered to the client with every last detail intact. Web developers want to be able to ensure their clients are satisfied.
That’s what clients should expect, as well. If you order food at a restaurant, for example, you want it to come out the way it was ordered. So, everything is very detailed on a menu and you can adjust it to fit your individual needs and wants. A scope follows the same idea but for software. The more detailed and direct it is, the more likely the deliverables will function exactly as expected.
What a client expects from the developer should actually be on the scope document itself. Developers want to know what it will take to make their clients satisfied. So, when a client’s scope states what they want the deliverables to look like, how they should function, and the desired goals, it makes everyone’s job much easier.
Simply put, most web developers want to work with clients who have a clear vision for their project. Those with a clear vision tend to be more passionate and more communicative about the project. When a client can set out their clear expectations, it makes life easier for the developer and practically guarantees a satisfactory end result.
The Importance of Scoping Your Project
If you don’t scope your project before you get started, you’re essentially cutting corners. Scoping out your project with as much detail as possible is crucial to its overall success.
Some clients might argue that they don’t want to spend the money upfront, or that it’s too much of an investment. Hopefully, the points made in this piece will take you away from that idea. Investing in the creation of a scope before your project begins will actually end up saving you time, money, and headaches in the long run. It will clearly ensure that your project ends the way you expect it to, with fewer roadblocks along the way.
If you don’t want to create a web development scope for yourself or don’t feel you have the necessary resources to create one, let an experienced software developer do it for you! A web developer will spend the required time necessary to create the most detailed scope possible that can help you to prevent unexpected costs down the road. Plus, the developer who creates your scope, will automatically have a better idea as to what “plan of action” to take for project success.
Don’t skimp on your next software or web development project. If you want it to be successful, you must pay attention to the details, and the best way to do that is by following a scope from start to finish. Bring your project to life in the way you envisioned it will be a breeze with a detailed project scope.