How to Determine the Boundaries & Scope of a Project

Contract delineating project scope and boundaries
Contract delineating project scope and boundaries (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

A project's boundaries and scope are similar concepts in the business world; however, it is essential to distinguish the two for effective project management. An agent proposes the boundaries and scope of a project to a client. These delineations set the basis for the agreement between the agent and client, and give contractual evidence for what an agent is to provide and what a client is to receive. Well determined boundaries and scope protect agents from minimizing profit and protect clients from lack of deliverables.

Things You'll Need

  • List of agent capabilities
  • List of client expectations
  • Budget report

Define the deliverables the agent will provide to the client. Deliverables are the things that you promise a client at the end of a project. Deliverables are tangible such as a new store front or intangible such as product buzz. Both parties should clearly define intangibles.

State what is not included in the scope of your project. This sets boundaries around the scope to clearly distinguish what is promised to a client from what is not. Boundaries protect agents from "scope creep." Scope creep is a client's additional requests for deliverables that were not included in the project scope. A client may assume something is implied in a contract when it was not stated. Boundaries should accurately address any related deliverables that are not included in the project scope. Neither party should make assumptions about the boundaries or scope.

Error on the side of caution as an agent. Scope creep can deplete a project's budget and profit quickly. Implement range requirements that will account for possible client add-ons. Present project's progress quickly and regularly to the client giving them a chance for input before the project moves too far along. This will provide further opportunity to consistently reevaluate the boundaries and scope of the project so there are no surprises for either of the two parties.

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