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About this lesson
In-Frame/Out-of-Frame is a technique for clarifying project boundaries by listing the activities and deliverables that are in scope for the project as well as the activities that are not required as part of the project.
In-Frame/Out-of-Frame is a technique for clarifying project boundaries by listing both the activities and deliverables that are in scope for the project and listing the activities that are not required as part of the project.
When to use
In-Frame/Out-of-Frame techniques should be used at the time of project initiation. It is particularly helpful for those cases where the stakeholder’s requirements are unclear or uncertain. When that is the case, the technique can help the stakeholders to clarify their expectations.
- Meet with the stakeholders to determine the project goals and deliverables. List these “In-Frame.”
- Question the stakeholders about other possible activities that are related to the work of the project to determine if they are required. If so, list them “In-Frame,” otherwise list them as “Out-of-Frame.”
- Review the activities that are “In-Frame” and question the stakeholders about the need to extend any of these beyond the normal level for projects of this type. Clarify with them the boundary for completion and list activities for the item that is in frame.
- If agreement cannot be reached with respect to which list an activity should be placed on, place that activity “On-the-Frame” and include that activity in the Risk Register with a clear trigger point for when the decision will be made to move it either “In” or “Out.”
- If at some point an “Out-of-Frame” item is requested by a stakeholder, a project change must be processed which normally results in a change in the authorized schedule and budget.
Hints & tips
- You do not need to use a “picture frame.” That is just the metaphor that the technique relies upon. The key is to develop the two lists.
- The “Out-of-Frame” list is your best defense against scope creep. A good discussion with this tool will ensure that everything that should be done on this project is included, and everything that is not necessary is identified and the stakeholders concur that it is not necessary.
- Don’t go crazy on the “Out-of-Frame” list. You don’t need to list “solve world hunger.” Just list items that are logically related to the project, but not required this time.
- Don’t portray the “Out-of-Frame” list as items that the stakeholders cannot have. If they want them, put them “In-Frame.” Rather the list represents those items that the stakeholders agree they don’t want to spend time and money on with this project.
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