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Project Success Builds On a Well-Defined Scope

By John C. Lagace, Jr. S&B Engineers & Constructors |

    A clear definition of what a project will include can go a long way in helping to reach the desired objective. Spending the time upfront to seek input from pertinent parties and to scope out the details can prevent frustration, unexpected costs and sometimes insurmountable obstacles later on. A project scope defines what a project encompasses. It outlines the complete story by describing what will be done, who will do it, when it will be done and where everything will go. The scope describes what is known, what is unknown and what must be further defined. A simple statement such as “replace steam turbine with an electric motor” is not a scope, although this author has seen it offered as one. Depending on the project size, scope definition can be done in a day or it can take a considerably longer time. Getting the right people involved — experts in their fields — is important for good scope development. Realistically, projects involve busy plant personnel whose time availability is limited. Project managers need to be efficient in developing project scopes. Tools, such as the guidelines and suggestions offered here, can assist. Checklists are also given to help avoid missing critical items.   Why…
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