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Defining What A Project Is and Is Not

Managing Expectations
Product
Deadlines
Sharing The Vision

2 July, 2018

Amandeep Midha
Amandeep Midha

Principal IT Consultant at BEC

Amandeep Midha talks about how why he likes to frame new projects in terms of exactly what they are and what they aren’t.

Problem

When setting up expectations for a new product or feature, people can sometimes become a little confused about the details and scope of the project they are about to embark on. This can result in wasted time and energy due to people working unnecessarily.

Actions taken

Recently, I was asked to share orientation success learnings of a fintech project with a bank. In my presentation, I explained what the project didn't do, and then went on to explain what we did, before explaining my planned next-steps. I will always begin with what a project is not and what should be excluded. This will then engage people's curiosity because they will question what a project is if it is not all of these different things. I will then outline what the project is and what we are trying to do. At times, this kind of conversation can become quite heated because people get frustrated that their creativity is being limited. However, if you are trying to build a product with a finite scope and utility, you absolutely have to define the scope and explain what the project will and won't cover.

Lessons learned

When working on a project, it's important to understand both what it is and what it is not. This helps to prevent people from building up their own idea of what a project should cover and from making unfounded assumptions that then result in scope creep.

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