Begin Scope Definition

Scope Definition:  The “real” beginning.

The creative side of your portal build is nearly behind you and the “Technical” portion begins!   The next step in The PORTAL Method is to begin documenting your plan of attack.  What’s going to be “required” in this portal?   By now, we’ve gathered our team, got everyone on-board, and collected feedback from our end-users via a variety of methods.   We’ve organized that feedback and we now have a pretty good idea of what they want out of the portal.

Almost certainly, what you’re realizing now is that there’s WAY to much to do on the first iteration.   Luckily for you, The PORTAL Method is an Agile methodology, meaning it can adjust on the fly.   The way adjustments are made in The PORTAL Method is by using “iterations”.    No doubt you’d like to make a killer portal for your user community.   No doubt you’d like to include everything they requested.  However, there’s also no doubt that it would be overwhelming and take WAY too long to build the portal that way.   Thus, we must choose what to include in our first iteration.

Determining Project Scope

“Never bite off more than you can chew.”  Certainly , we’ve all heard that before.   Well, that applies with Portal building as well.   Take a very close look at the features, content, and web parts requested by your users in the previous exercises.   Then, review the prototype stencils that were created and approved by your user community.   These are likely the features that you’ll be looking to incorporate in your project from the start.

Good news is that your stencil was a “prototype”, meaning you still have some wiggle room if you choose (or need) to make last minute changes.   Run though your list of features with your technical team.  Review each one, individually an determine whether or not it is “realistic” to expect these features to be included in the first iteration.

Narrowing the Scope

Some things you must consider when determining scope are the following:

  • Do we completely understand each of the requested features, types of content, and web parts?
  • Do we have the technical ability to set this up correctly and in a reasonable amount of time?
  • How much risk is it for us to attempt to include this request into our portal build?
  • How important is this request to our user community?
  • What is required by our Company/Portal Committee/Users?
  • How much time do we have to deliver Phase 1?
  • How many Phases do we think there will be (and over what timeframe)?

All of these questions must be thoroughly considered by your user community, BEFORE determining the scope of your work.

Next Steps

Throughout this week, we will discuss many topics in the Requirements phase of The PORTAL Method.  Before you can properly determine the scope, it will be imperative that you understand each of the requirements you’re about to document, how long they will take to implement, and who will do the work.   These will be the topics of discussion for the remainder of our week.

NOTE:  This week may take more than one week, given the amount of topics we’ll be covering.   I will try to post each day, and on some days, I will post multiple times.   Keep your eyes peeled!

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