The scope of work which is termed as SOW in the project management is the list of items which a service provider agrees to work and deliver to the client. This is very important and essential for any project as things will be clear to either side. Now the challenge is to how to define the scope. Let us break this up with an example of a UX project and try to make a scope for it and also see how we can give timelines
Assume there is a client “X” and you are a designer “Y”. The client is looking for a design service from you to deliver UX design for a mobile app. Now here is how the steps go after this.
The assumption here is that client app idea is fresh and things will start from scratch.
- Initial discussion with the client on what the idea is about.
- Understand if the client has a detailed plan about the app in terms of business rules.
- Question and answer sessions with the client to know more about the app.
- Get a clear understanding of the app, the requirements, the flow.
- Get a rough idea on what the final goal of the app would be.
- Explain the design process to the client like how you do.
- Come to an agreement on how to take this forward by asking the time frame from the client.
- If the client has less time and the project is important for you then you will have to cut down some of the processes and use your experience to solve the given challenge.
- Explain to the client about your billing model.
- You may want to know if the client has budgeted for paying you the amount you charge.
- If the client knows about your billing rates than it is good to get into an agreement or contract before you kick start any discussion.
- If you are billing on an hourly basis which typically we call as Time and Material then the agreement mentions that client is ready to pay you on hourly (agreed) price and you will work for the client till the end or project.
- If you want to bill the client on a fixed price than the challenge of defining the scope comes into the picture. Here all the requirements of the project have to listed, analyzed and sorted w.r.t screens and the overall time it takes to design them. Also, we need to add some buffer time and cost to fit in any iterations.
- Check how many people are needed for the requirement and put the overall efforts into consideration of project time.
- Add some terms of payment and work and get the proposal signoff to kick-start the project.
How to define exactly time
This is something very subjective from client to client and the region in which you are working. Some companies want to get the work from that particular client as the name is big which will add weight, here the management might do less costing and shorter time by taking some risk. In some cases, they might quote for the long run.
Companies who are in the growing stage will decide differently the engagement model vs the companies who are fully grown where they have the upper hand. Ideal way always as a best practice is to define a process, explain client on how you work to achieve a good output, put the entire flow as scope breakup and estimate how long it takes for each process including buffer time.
It is always good to work on the scope so that the budgets and times are in control. If you agree on a project and if the client wants you to fly somewhere then you will have to put from project money. So defining all the things in terms of what all screens, what travel conditions are, how many people, hotel stays etc during the project have to be laid in the proposal.