In an end-user environment, it is sometimes difficult for me to scope up a project. Sometimes the request description in the form is quite general and vague. Multiple meetings needs to be conducted with project sponsor to discuss the project requirements. This is to ensure the project scope is clear and precise so that the team is aware of the actual deliverables. Ultimately, be clear and specific with the project requirement of what the requester really want to achieve.
Unclear scope is always one of the project problems. Scope not clear will lead to delivering wrong end product / services. Thus a clear scope is needed right from the start of the project engagement. Project cost comes directly from the project scope. It will affect the project triple constraints upon an unclear scope.
If one of the deliverables is to purchase equipment, then the project scope needs to be clear. Wrong equipment / model purchased will cause the project cost to have large investment.
Once the scope is clear, I then start to seek quotations from the vendor. Ensure the vendor is aware of the project scope thus providing the necessary quotation.
On the other hand, if you are a project manager in a vendor environment, it will be easier. The scope had normally been taken cared by the pre-sales team. Thus any experienced project manager can just took up the assignment and managed the project delivery. The scoping process is a quite clear and straight forward.
Lesson Learn: Be clear and specific on the project scope before delivery, implementation. If there is any change, ensure it does not impact the entire project.
As for SI project manager, the more change it has, the more project charges it will incurred as the request adds on the additional pre-defined scope arrangement.