I am working on a large IT project right now and my company hopes to be part of several similar projects - which would have very similar requirements. We had several issues in requirement gathering and scope definition phase. We are trying to put our learnings into good use and create a collateral which would contain a list of questionnaires or checks that could be used in future projects to scope future project which are similar in a much better way.

Task is simple : To enable the business analysts to capture the scope of project up front we are creating a collateral to capture:

  1. List all possible scope items for such projects
  2. possible solutions for each scope item
  3. Estimates associated with the solutions.

At the moment I am going with a simple excel approach - listing out various questions/points to capture scope in one column and possible solutions in another column and a 3rd column for estimate. This approach does not seem very elegant and I would like to understand if there is a better way to capture scope for re-use.

  • 1
    Hi ProductMan, welcome to PM.SE! As your question stands, it's a tool recommendation, and such questions tend to become obsolete over time. That's why it's categorised as a off-topic for this community. What if you rephrase your question so that you ask the community around techniques rather than tools? They are usually more persistent over time with the added benefit that the technique will focus on the actual objective rather than only write stuff down.
    – Tiago Cardoso
    Jun 2, 2021 at 7:13
  • I interpreted the question as being about a "tool" in the sense of a technique, template or approach rather than a request for a software recommendation.
    – nvogel
    Jun 2, 2021 at 8:23
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    This isn’t possible unless you’re selling cookie-cutter products or services. If the work doesn’t fit that model, exhaustive checklists aren’t really very practical, and iterative planning-and-execution with T&M billing is generally a better fit.
    – Todd A. Jacobs
    Jun 2, 2021 at 17:38

1 Answer 1


IT project could mean a lot of different things and to get the best results it's advisable to stay flexible and take into consideration the kind of work being done and the delivery approach to be used. If there is a significant software development, analytical or data component to your projects then most people will want to avoid completely the kind of approach you are describing (project phases with up-front analysis).

Try taking a more Agile, iterative approach and developing your requirements in the form of a product backlog. User stories are a popular way of capturing requirements. The technical delivery team(s) should take the lead when it comes to designing solutions and making estimates. Avoid scoping out lists of solution options whenever possible because that only limits flexibility and leads to premature decision making. Focus on identifying business deliverables in the form of user stories, then prioritise them and aim to deliver results in short independent increments (typically 2 or 3 weeks) rather than plan long dependent sequences of work in advance.



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