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A High-Level Guide to Understanding Your Project Requirements & Scope

Posted by Magdalena Betlińska on August 11, 2020

A firm understanding of a project’s requirements and scope is vital to the success of any project. This knowledge is used to determine what the final product will look like, what work will be required to achieve your goals, and provide you with a rough timeline. It also gives you the tools you need to adapt to changing requirements or circumstances more easily and keep your project on track and on time.

To help keep all our projects running smoothly, the SolidStudio team has developed a robust yet flexible process that is easily adapted to suit each client’s unique needs. Regardless of the services you require and the scope of your project, the SolidStudio team is here to turn your idea into a reality.

The Solid Studio Process

Before we get started, we sort clients into two broad categories: those who already have a scope prepared and planned and those who are still determining their scope. In this article, we will focus on the latter.

Determining Project Scope

As we lay out the initial specifications, we determine the functional and non-functional requirements. Functional requirements cover areas such as business behaviour, while non-functional requirements cover areas such as how many users can (and likely will) access the system at any one time and whether or not the product needs to be available to users all the time or only occasionally or at specific times. This process involves sitting down with potential clients to ensure that everyone is starting on the same page.

Hammering Out the Details

Not all clients know exactly what their project requirements are when they first sit down with our team. If a potential client is unsure about the exact requirements of their project, we will run a discovery workshop for them to help everyone gain a better understanding of their project’s needs. Each workshop typically takes between 2 and 4 hours and gives our team the chance to work closely with the client and allow us to create an actionable vision for their project.

Once we have a basic understanding of the project, we will meet as needed with the client to discuss features, priorities, delivery dates, and what will occur during each phase of the project.

Once the details have been determined, we will create a high-level estimate covering each feature and epic. It is at this point that the compensation discussion and starting date are also finalized so that work can begin.

Determining a Project’s Scope

All of our plans and estimates are built on a solid foundation of experience and expertise. While some standard features such as authentication, user self-management, and creating CI/CD pipelines have a standard scope that can be applied to all projects, all unique features of each project are custom scoped. This ensures that work is never rushed, and corners are never cut to satisfy deadlines, budgets, or other external requirements.

The SolidStudio Advantage

We believe in bringing value to our clients and potential clients, which is why we work closely with our software developers, UX developers, and product owners throughout the entire planning and creation process. This helps us identify areas that need more attention to add value to the overall project, allowing us to adjust project requirements as needed so that the final project is the best it can be.

frustrated man using computer

Challenges & Pitfalls: Overcoming Obstacles

As with any project, things don’t always go smoothly. One of the biggest challenges we face is staying agile and flexible so that we can quickly and effectively adapt to scope changes or changes in the wider market. We overcome this challenge by keeping our clients in the loop throughout the entire development process so that the client is never caught unaware if the scope has to change.

We also work hard to lay a solid foundation for any project we take on. We have found that investing in the planning phase, through discovery workshops, proofs of concept, and detailed UX design, helps yield better results and minimize challenges and other disruptions. Laying a solid foundation also allows us to provide clients with better estimates and helps ensure that our team and the client are always on the same page.

Case Study Highlight: T-Cup

One project that benefited greatly from our flexible and methodical process was T-Cup. We worked with the T-Cup team to create a minimum viable product for their web-based application that helped users track and improve their wellbeing while ensuring strict data privacy. We supported T-Cup throughout the entire process, from the planning and workshopping phase to backlog development, implementation, hosting, and support.

For more information about this case study, please visit our case study page on the T-Cup project.