in the course 3 of data analyst , we will focus on the Scope Statements, this is very important in an information system
Scope Statements is a contractual document to be respected during a project. Scope Statements allow the client to let the project manager know what he expects from him when the project is carried out, leading to penalties in the event of non-compliance. It precisely describes the needs to which the service provider or tenderer must meet, and organizes the relationship between the different actors throughout the project.
As a reference part of the contract, Scope Statements protect both parties from any ambiguity: the client is assured that the delivery will meet his expectations, while the project manager can carry out the project. without undergoing untimely judgments as you go. However, the client has the possibility of modifying Scope Statements along the way through an amendment accepted by the project manager.
A certain formality is required in the drafting of Scope Statements so that they are understood by all stakeholders. The objectives are clearly specified in order to save time for all parts of the project.
Scope Statements can be used in different situations, internally or externally in the context of calls for tenders or public contracts .
Example of specifications
To make a specification, certain prerequisites must be met. We must first clarify the context. Beyond the technical aspect of a project, the context makes it possible to recall the reasons for the approach. Then comes the phase of presentation of the various objectives of the project and its purposes. Do not forget to mention the scope of the project when answering these questions: Who is it for? What types of partners are involved? Who are the targeted customers?
Scope Statements must also provide a functional description of the project. For example, if you are creating a website, it is a question of detailing its functions: selling products, sending newsletters, retrieving contacts, etc. It is then necessary to identify the different human resources mobilized on the project, the strengths and difficulties of each. Then, establish a total budget to guide providers and avoid unpleasant surprises when receiving the first quotes. Another important element to indicate on Scope Statements, the lead times and the delivery date. They set a course for providers and will serve as proof. The deadlines can be indicated on the estimate and the invoice of the service providers.
Each company or sector of activity develops and uses the specifications in its own way. However, we can distinguish the internal use of the specifications from its external use.
External use of Scope Statements
A specification is a work base that is used in particular to frame a project or a mission. It can also be used as organizational or work support, exchange and discussion between a company and its economic partners (stakeholder, service provider, suppliers, etc.).
Seeing it as a definitive and immutable document provided by a customer to its suppliers is reductive and can be subject to discussion in the event of inaccuracies, omissions or errors. If it does include a legal and contractual aspect (when it is signed) it is also a basis for exchange and must be able to be the subject of improvements which will then be validated by each of the parties for the good of the project.
The specifications are a document used to define the selection criteria during a call for tenders … We are talking here about contractual support.
It is important to pay particular attention to it because it often has a contractual connotation and can concern subjects as diverse and important as:
- Safety (of people, buildings, property, insurance, liability, etc.),
- The conditions for carrying out the project (setting up a site, schedules, compliance with regulations, etc.)
- Pricing (prices, payment phases, payment terms, penalties, etc.)
- The planning and phasing of the operation,
- The distribution of missions and the skills required ,
- The technical criteria to be respected: (materials to be used, conditions of execution, etc.)
- The special conditions (confidentiality, competition excluded, etc.),
Internal use of the specifications
Writing specifications is a restrictive and sometimes complicated process. It is however often useful because it imposes on the one hand to clarify the concept of project and on the other hand to communicate around the project within the company.
The clarification of the project with a view to drafting the specifications often leads to an improvement in the definition of the project itself (objectives, characteristics, customer expectations, budget, etc.).
In addition, the necessary involvement of certain departments or certain people makes it possible to integrate aspects that are sometimes forgotten. It also helps to better communicate the project and its importance within the company. In some cases, this is an opportunity for some people to express new expectations or integrate innovative ideas.
In the end, the specifications help to clarify the project and involve, or even mobilize, a certain number of people, so it can be a good management tool .
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT FUNCTIONS OF Scope Statements?
The functions of the specifications are multiple. It can be used to:
- define the characteristics of an order for goods or services (size, composition, technical specificity, etc.). The specifications are all the more important the more specific and / or important the order is.
- structure a call for tenders ,
- serve as a technical reference support for the realization of a mission or a site (realization of an IT project, construction of a building, …) to allow control of all aspects (deadlines, regulations, security, technical aspects, phasing between stakeholders, …),
- control financial risks . For the design of a product, for example, the specifications make it possible to ensure that the product will correspond to the objectives set. Designing a product without study or specifications would expose the company to significant risks (commercial flop, regulatory rejection, technical problem, etc.).
These specifications can have different functions related to the design of a project. It must therefore not be satisfied with the technical aspects but must also describe the economic context, quantify the objectives, establish a perimeter of action, make a precise description of what it will be used for.
THE FORM OF Scope Statements
There is no pre-defined format for a specification. The important thing is that it be precise, adapted to the situation and understandable by each of the participants. As regards the substance, the specifications will contain a set of written supports making it possible to describe the expected result or objective (technical elements, organization charts, technical diagrams, specificities, photos, etc.). It will refer to the regulations in force, the main elements of which will be recalled, particularly in terms of safety. Sets of plans specific to the different partners can be attached (eclectic plan, evacuation plans, etc.).
It will also include an administrative part (rules, operation, safety reminder, individual responsibility, etc.).
Most of the time, the specifications are in paper format, but more and more often they are provided in digital form, which allows them to be distributed and updated at low cost.
SOME TIPS !
If the production of specifications is strongly linked to the context, the nature of the specifications and the sector of activity, certain steps seem essential to us:
- Work in stages. Do not skip the steps and do not go too quickly in your efforts.
- Formalize the request . To do this, answer questions like: What will your project be used for? What is the competition doing? What will it look like when the project is completed (put yourself in a situation)? Have you thought about all the aspects (practical, financial, commercial, management, security, etc.)?
- Describe the constraints. In terms of time, budget, planning, jurisdiction … A project takes place over a given period, with a budget provided for this purpose.
- Consult all the people concerned. It is necessary to identify the people and skills (internal and external) involved or necessary for the project. Would you like to design all of this in-house or use external services? It is about the design of the implementation .
- Describe what will be offered concretely to the client. Product, functionality, associated services, advantages …
- Proofread and validate. Proofreading by competent people makes it possible to avoid omissions, errors but also knowledge of additional opinions.
- Plan the interventions of each. Working on a project requires a certain synchronization in everyone’s schedules, meeting planning, etc.
- Follow up on the specifications. This can be done internally or be subcontracted to a service provider (design office, client, etc.)
Remember that a specification is an exercise that requires both great rigor and a very good overall vision of the project. It is a document that requires wor