A well-defined project scope is an absolute necessity for your project’s success—especially for a large project, where the risk of failure is bigger. Defining your project scope starts with adopting a clear vision and an agreement on the outcomes of the project, which will help every milestone stay on track along the way.
Once you have your project scoped accurately, everything will come easier and more efficiently. You’ll be better aligned with your contractors, which will allow you to deliver your project within the preset deadline and budget.
Tip #1: What Do You Need?
Identifying your needs is the first step in defining your project scope. Think about what problems this project is solving and what needs it’s fulfilling. This will help you set important—but reasonable—expectations and milestones for your entire project. Understanding the basic “what” and “why” of your project will help you set specific goals and objectives and sets the groundwork for next steps.
Tip #2: Confirm Your Goals
Have specific and trackable goals in place along your project’s path. It’s always a good idea to follow the SMART guidelines, which means setting objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and within a set Timeline. Here’s a breakdown of the SMART guidelines to help you get started:
SPECIFIC: State what you want your project to achieve, and how and why things will get done. Complete transparency is crucial at this stage, as it will reduce the chances of misunderstandings down the road.
MEASURABLE: Your goals should be measurable. How will you know when you’re on track? What kind of feedback could you get along the way that will allow you to adjust as you go?
ACHIEVABLE: Given the resources you have, can this project get done? If there’s something else you need to stay on track, make sure you’re noting it early in your planning process.
REALISTIC: Problems and complications almost always arise during a project—there’s really no way around it. However, you can make sure that your goals are realistic from the beginning with your resources and manpower. Setting your expectations at the beginning will help you deal with problems as you meet them along the way.
TIMELY: Again, problems can arise in a project out of nowhere. Things change, or need changing, so make sure you’re setting a realistic timeline for your project to be completed. Always keep in mind important deadlines or criteria that have to be met in order to complete the project. Opportunity cost is often a huge driver of timelines. Ask yourself what a few extra days of production is worth. In many cases, the cost of the shutdown makes it worth it to compress schedules and reduce shutdown time by hiring an integrator that can do the work in less time.
Tip #3: Write a Clear Description
Be clear and concise in describing the features and functioning required for your product or service. You’ll need to have a very detailed list of how you’ll complete your project, what steps need to be taken when, what resources you’ll need, etc.
Tip #4: Identify Possible Problems
Knowing your facility’s constraints or limitations is the best way to prepare for potential roadblocks in your project. The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be to meet problems that arise head on! Dynamic environmental conditions, technological glitches, a lack of resources—these things and more can suddenly halt your project in its tracks. Communicating potential problems to your team early on will reduce delays, keep you within budget, and give you the greatest chance of success in the long run.
Tip #5: Adjust Your Plans
Overall, do your best to avoid changing your project scope once it’s completed—reworking it typically means investing more time, money, and resources into it. But things happen, and you might need to make some adjustments along the way. Keep your finger on the pulse of your project from start to finish and make adjustments where you think they’re necessary.
Another great way to minimize changes to your project scope is to have an expert handle the process from start to finish. Doing this will significantly minimize disagreements or misunderstandings later on that could derail your project.
Defining Your Project Scope with FEED+
It’s true—a lot of engineering companies offer Front-End Engineering and Design studies, but we’ve added something very important to ours. We thought standard FEED studies were missing something, which is why we offer FEED+. The + means that you can confidently make decisions, because you’ll know your site, all of your options, and your cost with zero surprises.
A thorough and detailed site survey is the first step in our FEED+ study. Our site survey team has an extensive expertise in control systems engineering, field engineering, plant support, and construction, so you know you’re in good hands. We’ll start with a thorough investigation as your control system as-is, assessing the age, capabilities, and stability of all of your control components. We’ll also conduct operator interviews, make sure we’re taking into account any unique site safety considerations, and we’ll determine all equipment modifications or replacements needed.
Our team will also perform a P&ID walk down, which includes physically locating all equipment and drawings. We’ll record your current setup’s models, versions, and conditions and photograph in-place materials and create as-found drawings for you.
Maintaining up-to-date system documentation is hard, but we can take care of that for you. With the full I/O list, our survey includes the development of full as-found drawings and the creation of a master drawing index that reviews all existing drawings, determines any needed revisions, and identifies required new drawings.
After our intensive site audit, the + in FEED+ comes into play. Our construction experience and RevereGen project planning software allows us to give you a construction approach and step-by-step cutover planning. We’ll provide you with every possible option as well as our expert recommendation—all you have to do is choose your path forward. You can rest assured that each detail has been planned out for you to perfection, and that your project is ready to be executed.
Cost, as always, is a crucial part of defining your project scope. Our FEED+ study requires approximately three weeks by four people, and accounts for about 20% of your project’s total engineering cost. Then, you’ll have an appropriation/PO-worthy estimate. When you know you’ll have to spend money on your project either way, it’s best to use it wisely by having an expert draw up a concrete estimate. We promise to install the defined scope of work for the price we show you—that’s how FEED+ negates a lot of the risk that comes with these projects.
- A comprehensive, highly accurate scope of work document that experiences less than a 0.5% scope “creep.”
- A fully audited plant and mitigated risk.
- A high degree of adherence to both schedule and budget, so you don’t have to worry about any surprises.
Scoping your project involves a lot of details, but Revere Control Systems has over 35 years of experience in a wide range of industries translating details into decisions. We’re an independent integrator who has one thing as our focus: Your best interest. Start a conversation with us today.