If it is important to know what’s on your plate, it is equally vital to know what’s not on it. It is the complementary part of the requirements definitions. If we define a set as well as another set that is distinctly exclusive from this set then the set gets uniquely defined. Therefore, if our scope definition comes with a set of things required, the things that are not required makes things very clear indeed.

What’s NOT on Your Plate

Language is not a very precise thing. Thus it is often very difficult to pin down the requirements, where it can be used as a clear measurement of a scope having been fulfilled. What’s not in the requirements makes the scope boundary to be defined more precisely.

There’s one more reason to look at what’s not included. This is to define customer expectations more precisely. This may be feature that is not to be developed. Including these features may adversely affect your development schedule while the incremental value-add may not justify the time spent. Like documenting the scope as accurately as possible, you should document what’s not included also as accurately. If it is for defining customer expectation boundaries, it should be in a document that is meant for review by customer.

This forms a basis of discussion with customer. The exclusions get clearly discussed and you get concurrence of customer. There will be situations when customer may not agree on the proposed exclusions. But, then that would be an opportunity for actually discuss the change in scope and the changes in time and budget, if any.

Not documenting these exclusions can do two things. One, the customer would expect the features to be developed. Not mentioning these explicitly could appear as if you have overlooked the issues. Even though you have moved these items to exclusion list, not documenting may leave these un discussed leading to later problems.

External Dependencies

It is equally important to document what’s not in the project scope even when external customers may not be involved; if your project is part of a larger project, for example. Once you have documented the boundaries of your project scope, what’s outside the boundary will tell you the dependencies very clearly. Wherever the bigger project needs your deliverable to get an activity started it is dependent on you. But, when your tasks cannot start until deliverables from other parts of the project has happened, you are clearly depended on them. Documenting these external dependencies not only brings them on the mind map, you also have hard dates, success criteria , task outcome defined that tells you if it is time to start your tasks. This document then can be a monitoring tool at inter-departmental meetings. You would need to know the progress on these items for successful completion of your tasks. Those dependent you would similarly be following up on the tasks they have to depend on. Overall success would thus depend on these mutual success of connected tasks.

If it is important to know what’s on your plate, it is equally vital to know what’s not on it. It is the complementary part of the requirements definitions. If we define a set as well as another set that is distinctly exclusive from this set then the set gets uniquely defined. Therefore, if our scope definition comes with a set of things required, the things that are not required makes things very clear indeed.

What’s NOT on Your Plate

Language is not a very precise thing. Thus it is often very difficult to pin down the requirements, where it can be used as a clear measurement of a scope having been fulfilled. What’s not in the requirements makes the scope boundary to be defined more precisely.

There’s one more reason to look at what’s not included. This is to define customer expectations more precisely. This may be feature that is not to be developed. Including these features may adversely affect your development schedule while the incremental value-add may not justify the time spent. Like documenting the scope as accurately as possible, you should document what’s not included also as accurately. If it is for defining customer expectation boundaries, it should be in a document that is meant for review by customer.

This forms a basis of discussion with customer. The exclusions get clearly discussed and you get concurrence of customer. There will be situations when customer may not agree on the proposed exclusions. But, then that would be an opportunity for actually discuss the change in scope and the changes in time and budget, if any.

Not documenting these exclusions can do two things. One, the customer would expect the features to be developed. Not mentioning these explicitly could appear as if you have overlooked the issues. Even though you have moved these items to exclusion list, not documenting may leave these un discussed leading to later problems.

External Dependencies

It is equally important to document what’s not in the project scope even when external customers may not be involved; if your project is part of a larger project, for example. Once you have documented the boundaries of your project scope, what’s outside the boundary will tell you the dependencies very clearly. Wherever the bigger project needs your deliverable to get an activity started it is dependent on you. But, when your tasks cannot start until deliverables from other parts of the project has happened, you are clearly depended on them. Documenting these external dependencies not only brings them on the mind map, you also have hard dates, success criteria , task outcome defined that tells you if it is time to start your tasks. This document then can be a monitoring tool at inter-departmental meetings. You would need to know the progress on these items for successful completion of your tasks. Those dependent you would similarly be following up on the tasks they have to depend on. Overall success would thus depend on these mutual success of connected tasks.

What’s NOT on Your Plate

August 20, 2009
By

If it is important to know what’s on your plate, it is equally vital to know what’s not on it. It is the complementary part of the requirements definitions. If we define a set as well as another set that is distinctly exclusive from this set then the set gets uniquely defined. Therefore, if our scope definition comes with a set of things required, the things that are not required makes things very clear indeed.

What’s NOT on Your Plate

Language is not a very precise thing. Thus it is often very difficult to pin down the requirements, where it can be used as a clear measurement of a scope having been fulfilled. What’s not in the requirements makes the scope boundary to be defined more precisely.

There’s one more reason to look at what’s not included. This is to define customer expectations more precisely. This may be feature that is not to be developed. Including these features may adversely affect your development schedule while the incremental value-add may not justify the time spent. Like documenting the scope as accurately as possible, you should document what’s not included also as accurately. If it is for defining customer expectation boundaries, it should be in a document that is meant for review by customer.

This forms a basis of discussion with customer. The exclusions get clearly discussed and you get concurrence of customer. There will be situations when customer may not agree on the proposed exclusions. But, then that would be an opportunity for actually discuss the change in scope and the changes in time and budget, if any.

Not documenting these exclusions can do two things. One, the customer would expect the features to be developed. Not mentioning these explicitly could appear as if you have overlooked the issues. Even though you have moved these items to exclusion list, not documenting may leave these un discussed leading to later problems.

External Dependencies

It is equally important to document what’s not in the project scope even when external customers may not be involved; if your project is part of a larger project, for example. Once you have documented the boundaries of your project scope, what’s outside the boundary will tell you the dependencies very clearly. Wherever the bigger project needs your deliverable to get an activity started it is dependent on you. But, when your tasks cannot start until deliverables from other parts of the project has happened, you are clearly depended on them. Documenting these external dependencies not only brings them on the mind map, you also have hard dates, success criteria , task outcome defined that tells you if it is time to start your tasks. This document then can be a monitoring tool at inter-departmental meetings. You would need to know the progress on these items for successful completion of your tasks. Those dependent you would similarly be following up on the tasks they have to depend on. Overall success would thus depend on these mutual success of connected tasks.

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