Checklist for Project Scope Development

I want to share with everyone my checklist for scoping web projects. Starting in sales and moving into project scope development, it’s super useful to have a checklist you can run through.  This is just a high-level checklist for all of those who love to scope…or need help with it.

I separate this checklist into 4 areas: Strategy, UX/Design, Technology, Ongoing Services. Why? Because it’s important to note all areas of the project and separating things helps to categorize and narrow down.

View downloadable template here

Project Scope Development Checklist


  • The Business:
    • Understand the business model, value proposition, culture at a high-level
    • What is your prospect trying to accomplish?
    • Why do they want to accomplish it?
  • Engagement Objectives & Success Metrics
    • Overview of engagement requirements
      1. Browser & Device support (important to note!)
    • Define short and long-term business objectives
    • Define key success metrics — how will they be tracked and/or evaluated
  • Acquisition
    • How will visitors reach your prospect’s site? 
      1. Social, SEO, PPC? – Will you or your agency be responsible for helping with these things?
    • What is the primary goal for visitors while they are on the site?
    • Secondary goals?
  • Timeline & Budget
    • Preferred methodology (agile / waterfall)
    • Phased Approach
    • Initial timeline / budget
  • Risks
    • What areas might be problematic? 
  • Big Ideas / Innovation
    • Possibilities for this engagement
      1. Are there any choices we can make, not just solving issues?
      2. What is the advantage your prospect aims to achieve for their company?
    • Identify new, forward-thinking ideas for the future


  • Brand Standards / Guidelines (does your prospect have them, or will your agency need to help them with this?)
  • Logo design
  • Any internal design deliverables available?
    • Wireframes
    • Mockups
  • Competitor & Inspirational Websites
    • Discussion of likes / dislikes 
  • Target Audience Exploration
    • Do they have existing user personas or will your agency need to create them?
  • Content
    • Types / Materials
    • New content or existing content
      1. Who is responsible for the creation of content? On-page SEO?
  • Information Architecture
  • Any special requirements? Multilingual, Accessibility, User testing, etc.



  • Existing platforms
    • Current CMS, will their be an extensive migration process? Will you need to write automated scripts?
    • What are the existing 3rd party systems?
    • What functionality needs to remain intact?


  • Preferred System
    • WordPress, Drupal, ASP.NET, Sitecore, Ektron, etc.
  • Functionality
    • What are the core features of the project?
      1. Features: what is the purpose of each feature?
    • Use Case vs Edge Case
    • Email, Social, Search, Events/Calendar, Memberships, etc. – figure out all this, because each new feature will take time and cost more money.
  • Capabilities
    • For an end user
    • For an admin
      1. CMS workflow
      2. How many people will have access to the site?
      3. What types of permissions will be needed? User profiles? Authentication methods?
  • 3rd party systems
    • Required integrations
  • Hosting
    • Internal / External
  • Any security procedures?
    • Firewall, Scanning, Backups, etc.


  • Maintenance/Support
    • In-house or agency?
  • Enhancements
    • The best websites are the ones that are never finished!
  • On-going feature development / on-going strategy
  • Marketing? Will your prospect need help with setting up any social media campaigns or accounts? Any content marketing or blogging? Help with advertising? Help with video?

All of this stuff adds up. So the next time you’re talking with a new prospect, just ask questions, continue asking, and ask a little more! It can’t hurt, and it helps to be prepared! Your project teams will thank you!!