Scope – “Now” or “Later”

Whenever I hear discussions about scope, I hear that an item of functionality is “in” or “out” of scope.

This is the wrong way to think about scope. When we say that something is “out of scope”, the person requesting that item will fight to keep it in scope.

Instead, consider things that will be built “now” or “later”.

“Now” means we could start work on it before the next time the business investors meet.

“Later” means we will not start developing it between now and the next time the business investors meet to discuss scope. If the business investors meet on a weekly basis, it means that we will not start working on it this week.

If the business investors only meet once a quarter you will face a lot more pressure to start on an item now than if they meet once a week. As a result there is the danger that you will start work on things because you might need them and as a result build the wrong thing.

If your business investors meet once a quarter, the investment decision process will take a long time. Although the investors might agree on the first, second and third priorities, they will spend a long time discussing the relative priority of items four to twenty.

If your business investors meet once a week, they only need to agree on the first or second priorities at most. This will normally be a quick process.

Also, as the business investors meet more regularly to prioritise investments, they will become more effective at the process. If you do something once a week, you will be better at it than if you do it once a month and much better than if you do it once a quarter.

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About theitriskmanager

A IT programme manager specialising in delivering trading and risk management systems in Investment Banks. I achieve this by focusing on risk rather than cost. A focus on costs can lead to increased costs. View all posts by theitriskmanager

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