Published here May, 2001.

Intro | Steps 1-4 | Steps 5-8 | Finish | Evaluation

Scope-Pak Project Planning - in Eight Simple Steps

A simple planning technique that you can use to quickly get your project up and running, organized and under control.

Planning Technique

The technique is best suited for flip chart presentation. It can be done on a white board or even on 8 1/2" x 11" sheets at your desk, if necessary. Gather 4 to 6 people with relevant project experience, especially those expected to form part of the project team, and ask them to help organize your project. They will form the initial 'brains trust' planning team and you will be the team's 'facilitator'.

This is the Scope-Pak eight-step approach. It is simple, fast and fun! First, you take one or two minutes to organize the project and define the opportunity or problem. Then you ask leading questions to draw out ideas from your team. You will accumulate eight or so pieces of paper that will form a viable initial Project Work Plan - and you can do it in less than 60 minutes! This approach works because 80% of most projects, tasks, or problems can be quickly identified within this time. The other 20%, the lesser items, can be added later and rarely result in any significant change in the final project direction or scope. You finish by thanking your team, releasing them and promising to distribute the results of their labors.

Start: By Assembling and Briefing Your Team

Assemble the initial members of your team, and describe your project mission. Tell your team what you want to accomplish, and how you're going to go about it at this workshop.

Check the time: 60 minutes from now you will be through. At that time you will quit, absolutely and positively!

Explain that the Scope-Pak approach is a very disciplined method and you, as project manager, group leader or facilitator, have to be very conscious of time. You cannot afford to tie up endless project manhours on organizing details!

You will not permit your team to evaluate or debate responses to questions. Just keep the ideas flowing. Keep your team working on the answers to your prompting questions. Cut off superfluous conversation. Get ideas out of minds and on to paper! Use prompting questions to control discussion and to focus your 'brains trust' team on the project mission.


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