How to Write a Scope Document

Your scope document is an important part of your enterprise resource planning (ERP) process and often symbolizes the initiation of your ERP efforts. Serving as your implementation project roadmap, your scope document ensures everyone involved stays on the same page while establishing specific guidelines and expectations. For that reason, it’s often appropriately referred to as a statement of work (SOW).

Your scope document should be thorough and clear, leaving nothing to interpretation. An effective statement of work includes tasks, schedules, deliverables, and resources to lay the foundation for your project. With so many variables affecting the outcome of your ERP project, we don’t want you to go it alone. The following sections are the essentials to guide you as you get started on your ERP scope document.

Introduce Your Project to Set the Stage

Your introduction is your opportunity to identify, in general terms, that you are drafting your scope document the evaluation phase of ERP planning. This is also where you identify the parties involved (your organization, your software vendor, third-parties).

Your Project Overview Includes Objectives and Success Factors

The project overview portion of your scope document is for explaining the purpose of your ERP implementation and outlining your business objectives. Keep this section clear and brief, but don’t forget to indicate what achieving your business objectives, or project success looks like.

Scope it Out

The scope of work section is your opportunity to determine, in broad terms, the work needing to be done and the steps involved to carry your team to a successful outcome. Here, you’ll designate the hardware and software requirements needed for your ERP implementation as well.

Functional Project Management

The project management portion of your scope document outlines the primary functions of the project leadership, guidelines for change requests, detailed contract terms with legal requirements, and any project limitations.

Project Schedule

The ERP project schedule assigns when specific deliverables are due and from whom they’re expected, in detail. It defines the time period in which individual tasks are expected to be completed and includes important benchmarks and time restrictions.

Your project schedule maps the start of a project to its conclusion while presenting the primary phases of the project with due dates.

A List of Tasks and Requirements

Outline the tasks, in detail, required to meet your business objectives in the tasks and requirements section of your scope document. Think of this as the divide and conquer phase as your breaking the project down into manageable tasks and a list of the requirements (e.g. specialized training, certifications or security clearances) needed to complete those tasks.

Due to the business transformation ERP implementation represents, you’ll want to remain as detailed as possible for this effort. It’s an important distinction to note that your tasks and requirements are different than you deliverables. Tasks are actions which need to be taken whereas deliverables are what you expect to receive.

Deliverables, Anyone?

Your project deliverables are defined as the results of your task list or at the end of each phase of the project or the completion of the project as a whole. You may decide to place your deliverables in a timeline chart to have a clearer picture of each deliverable and when it is expected to be completed.

Success Criteria and Sign-off

This portion of your scope document identifies how you will receive your ERP project deliverables and by whom. In other words, who has the authority to approve and accept the completed deliverables, perhaps the most crucial phase of your ERP project.

If your organization is beginning your ERP discovery process, use this outline to guide you. While it’s customary to see other elements added to the ERP evaluation process SOWs, these are the most crucial must-haves.

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