Scope the project

Related areas
Client relationshipDiscovery
TL;DR recommendations
—Get to the bottom of the challenge and be crystal clear on what success looks like; —Strategically position your relevant skills and expertise and pain a clear picture of what you can do for your client; —Cover all possible pitfalls with the written project agreement.

Scoping a project effectively is essential to ensure that both you and your client have a clear understanding of the project's objectives, deliverables, timelines, and budget.

Each project will look slightly different, but there are a few stages you will go through as you scope the projects.

Let's explore them together!

1. Initial interview: Define goals and outcomes

Before the first meeting with the client, gather as much information as possible about their company, industry, competitors, and any other relevant information.

During the call, you want to ask as many open-ended questions as possible. Your goal is to build rapport, understand their challenges and pain points, and uncover their objectives and needs. Focus here on painting a clear picture of the desired outcome, the change they are hoping to see.

Then, you want to explain how your skills, and expertise addresses those specific challenges, and what will be the outcomes of the project.

Ensure that both you and the client have a shared understanding of what success looks like, and narrow it down to specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals and deliverables.

Sometimes, the scoping requires 1-2-3 conversations with the client before you get the green light.

Questions you can ask:

  • What challenges or opportunities prompted you to seek facilitation services?
  • Have you already tried to solve this challenge, and if yes, what was the outcome? How come it fell short?
  • What are your short-term and long-term goals related to this project?
  • What's the primary goal you want to achieve through this project?
  • How will you measure the success of this project?
  • What specific outcomes or deliverables do you expect?
  • What’s the cost of not taking action?
  • Who is the audience and what do we know about them?
  • Are there any existing materials or documents that should be considered in the project?
  • What is your preferred timeline for completing this project?
  • Are there any specific dates or events that we need to work around?
  • What is your budget for this project, and how would you like payments to be structured?
  • What risks do you foresee that could affect the project, and how can we mitigate them?
  • How should we handle potential changes to the project scope, and what is your process for approving them?
  • Who will be responsible for providing data, information, or resources from the client's side?
  • Would you like a formal contract or proposal outlining the project's scope, terms, and deliverables?

2. Write the project proposal

A well-structured project proposal is a crucial document that outlines the details of a project and serves as a formal agreement between you and your client.

Here's what you can add:

Project objectives based on the shopping call.

Scope of work: What are the deliverables, what is included, what's not included? Important here is to clearly describe the process for handling any changes to the project scope and the associated impact on budget and timeline. Specify how changes will be requested and approved.

Approach: How will you reach the objectives? Outline methodology, tools, techniques, or strategies.

Timeline: Include key milestones, deadlines, and important dates. Include details on the frequency and formats for the communication during the project: check-ins, reports, and feedback.

Pricing: Specify the pricing structure, such as a fixed fee, hourly rates, retainer, or a combination. If applicable, include payment terms and a schedule for invoicing.

Legal stuff: Include terms and conditions that govern the project and protect both parties.

3. Follow-up

If you don't hear back in a couple of days, make sure you follow up. Ask if they have any additional questions or concerns about the project scoping process or the proposed project.

By the end of this phase, you will hopefully have a signed agreement for an awesome project to work on!

🧰 For your toolbox:

Use this project scoping meeting template in Butter, to stay on track with your client.

This client check-in meeting template will help you structure the check-in sessions for the duration of the project.