What is “Scope”?

April 7th, 2016

The practice of defining scope is a narrowing of focus, taking certain concepts and pulling them to the forefront.....

 

Today’s post is from Michael Figueroa Manager of Customer Services at SafeSourcing.

The practice of defining scope is a narrowing of focus, taking certain concepts and pulling them to the forefront, all the while forcing everything else to take a back seat. Creating your scope, by definition, means excluding those things that do not fit within the core competences of your project, mission, goals, or whatever context you are operating within.  If you could take a picture of your scope, you might see it represented by a tunnel vision focus on a certain object. Take away that tunnel and you see the periphery, and if your scope was developed well, you’ll look at the peripheral objects and say to yourself “Ya, these things are irrelevant to my project, let’s narrow our focus”.

When your procurement projects don’t accurately understand what’s relevant to the initiative, you risk diluting its full value potential.  If you’re attempting to source “Ground Beef”, but your focus is so wide that you are asking questions more indicative of a scope of “Beef Products”, you will get information irrelevant to your project, while also confusing your potential suppliers. What you exclude in the scope of your project is just as important as what you include, because having too wide a view will just muddy the waters and make it harder to see your real savings opportunities.

Media reference: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f9/Tunnel_vision_sc.png/240px-Tunnel_vision_sc.png

No is not a four letter word, and in many cases saying yes for too many inputs is not a value-add. Your inclusions/exclusions must speak to your core competencies and context of goals/projects. What you say NO to in terms of your informational inputs is just as important as what you say YES to. The concept of “economies of scope” is not best served in procurement projects. You want your information to be exclusive to what is relevant to your procurement project, which by definition means some things need to be excluded.

This is why we at SafeSourcing work with both you and the vendor community to understand the industry your project operates within through our well-developed RFI/RFP processes. We clearly define our clients goals, and get in-depth feedback from the vendors so that we can ask the relevant questions. Allow us to fuse your needs with our skill to focus on what drives value for your procurement projects.

 

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