What Is A Website Project’s Scope?
Communication is one of the most important necessities that must be in place between website designer and client; otherwise, there is a distinct possibility that projects will take longer and clients may not be satisfied. Being able to discuss ideas and understand each other is essential; however, what happens when designers do understand and the client decides on something different? By defining a project’s scope, all design aspects can be kept under better control and remain simple for everyone.
What is Project Scope?
The easiest way to define project scope is to say that it is a blueprint where all necessary questions to be answered and problems to be solved are written out as well as a plan of action. Well-built websites are made with a lot of planning in order to function as needed, reach the right people, and accomplish all business goals.
All information, documented for easy reference to keep everyone headed in the same direction is what project scope is about. It is similar to a website business plan but with a bit more purpose to help designers get final decisions from clients and keep development work organized. With a good record of scope, time and effort can be saved and communication problems minimized, enabling designers to actually build a website.
Defining Project Scope
The most important questions that must be asked – and answered – when attempting to define project scope is to look at what the finished website will be and will use it. A good website is user-friendly to the right audience, easy for that audience to find, and provides information the targeted audience wants and needs. If these things can be stated and planned out, having good project scope is halfway defined.
Everything else that should be documented in project scope is related to the actual process of completing the job. It means knowing the client’s time frame, budget and job requirements. It also involves documenting an approval process, who will provide the approvals throughout the job, and at what point in development the client wants to see progress.
Essentially, these are part of a script for both designer and client which, when recognized, prevents “scope creep” – when clients stray from the documented plan and ask for changes or other things that were never written into the agreed-upon plan or included in a price quote. The main reason why designers struggle with both time frame and clear communication is scope creep. The rules must be agreed upon and signed; changes and additions can come later, after the site is finished according to the planned project. Anything other than that would be an ‘upgrade’ to the project and require cost redefinition.
Though it may seem like a minor thing, professional designers strongly suggest the use of a project scope that both parties must agree with and sign to acknowledge such an agreement. Then everyone knows what to expect and what should be delivered – and communication stays much easier. By carefully explaining the purpose of having such a plan of action – that it is a tool to keep projects on schedule and designed as requested – website clients can take an active part in website design without overstepping the project’s plan and designer with changing information every day – causing delays and cost overrides!
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