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Achieving goals in large part is about defining what we want to achieve, and what we don’t see as a priority in achieving right now.

The definition of our goal is a very important factor to having clarity about what it is that we want to achieve.  ~Brenda Crompton

When you think of scope, think of a microscope. Most of us have either used or seen a microscope when we were growing up. The microscope let’s us zoom on on the thing we are looking at, and blocks out everything else.

Scope is the same concept. We use our scope definition to really zoom in on what we are trying to achieve, so that we can set our priorities there and block out everything else for the most part until later when those tasks we have defined as in scope are complete.

Scope management is all about keeping our “eye on the ball”, keep our focus where it needs to be so we can get the job done. This is how we can prevent leaking money in the business — do those tasks that need to be done to achieve the goal and leave the rest to others.

Basics of Scope Definition

The first step in scope management is to define the project scope in the first place. Do this by very specifically answering the following questions:

  1. Define very specifically the goal. For example, create a new website with 5 pages of static content.
  2. List all tasks that are required to complete the goal. For example, logo, site design, content, host, domain, testing.
  3. List tasks that are not included for now but could be included. By defining these as not being included we are managing the scope for that we can have a success in a time frame that is doable, we are not attempting to accomplish more than is feasible in a short period of time. For example, OUT of scope might include newsletter signup, articles, videos, questionnaire, blog. They may be tagged for the next phase once the first phase is complete.
  4. Work ONLY on completing those tasks that were listed as IN scope and leave the rest. When they are all complete, celebrate the success for your company. Then move on to phase 2.

This is a simple description of scope management. Scope management becomes critical when projects get larger and more complex, because the only way to get everything done in the time allotted is to manage what exactly we are attempting to complete.

Say what you are going to accomplish, and then actually do it. ~Brenda Crompton


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