An Example of a Good Project Scope when Outsourcing

A detailed project scope can be the difference between a successful software development project and a disaster. Let us explain what a project scope should look like. It should be detailed and cover as many aspects of the project as possible so that all parties involved are clear about the work being undertaken. It should document previous discussions, and explain what work is being done that is included in the scope as well as what future work may be needed that would fall outside the scope. If a project scope comes back to you for a complex task that is only a couple of pages long, alarm bells should ring. Aspects of your project won't have been covered and it could spiral out of control, leaving you over-budget with an end-product different to what you expected.

What a real scope should look like when outsourcing

Above is an example of a scope from Venuiti.  It's important to note, although page 2 is stated as the Scope of Work, the entire documentelaborates on what is included in this scope and what isn't.

As you see, our statement of work covers as much as possible ensuring everyone understands the work. Our scope:

Specifies the exact web pages we will be working on (p.4). It is explained the work comprises particular web pages and additional pages are considered outside of scope.
Explains there will be a maximum number of two updates to the site before it launches. This stops the project being delayed with continuous updates that would lead to going over-budget.
Details maintenance that will be included under the scope, for example, training staff on new systems. Work like this is easily overlooked when arranging a scope, and suddenly you can find yourself with a system you don't know how to use.
Specifies the language being designed for the website as English only. This is important particularly if you are hiring the outsourcing company for a website that offers multiple languages - who is responsible for creating the content in each language?
Details how many hours are allocated to each aspect of the project - for example, 100 hours being allotted for development. This shows a clear target for many stages of work and helps the project stay within budget.
Outlines areas where scope could go beyond what is quoted and gives an estimation for the cost of doing extra. It also explains why one issue is being focused on now, and that the other work is entirely optional to be done at a later date.
Discusses recourse actions if project timelines start to be delayed (p.12). These are important so both parties know the measures that will be taken if things start to go off-track during work.
Explains what the client is still responsible for - for example, writing content for the website. Without a section like this, you could find yourself being charged extra for the outsourcing company to create content for your site.

Warning signs that scope creep could happen to you

Take a good look through our example document above to get an idea of what you should be looking for when you outsource. If your scope doesn't look like this, you can find yourself in a situation where you're being overcharged for work you believed was going to be included in your project. Many companies forget to check what they will still be responsible for when they outsource, or what kind of maintenance will be needed after a project is finished. Find out more about what scope creep is, when it occurs, and how to avoid it here.

An outsourcing project needs to be detailed from the very beginning in order to avoid scope creep and maintain accurate budgets. To be successful when you decide to outsource, make sure to find companies who pride themselves on thorough scopes that ensure everyone is on the same page - like Venuiti! If you ever get a scope document back that appears to gloss over any details, make sure you question it and get it fixed before your project starts.


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