The SMARTER Way to Develop A Scope Plan



Understanding the issue clients are trying to solve is essential to communicating with them, setting a good fee, and incorporating changes. PSMJ Project Management Consultant Christopher Martersteck warns that just because the scope is completed, “doesn’t necessarily equate to a satisfied client.”

Eighty percent of work in an architectural firm comes from repeat clients, so firms want happy clients. How can your firm turn out happy clients? By following SMARTER Goals:

  • Simple
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time Based
  • Evaluate
  • Re-evaluate

Sometimes clients make vague requests such as “Attractive Building,” which the firm must translate into a more specific Critical Success Factor (CSF) such as “Match adjacent building style.” That’s why the firm needs to sit down with clients to identify their CSFs, and turn their goals into SMART objectives in order to designate the actual project scope.

Ask probing questions to figure out the client’s CSFs. Martersteck advises, “We think you should not write the scope until you really understand the client’s critical success factors.”