In sum: a scope document can be your best friend. It’s a great touchstone for your first big meeting with your team and your stakeholders, because there is no document that helps clarify a project more than a scope doc does. I’ve had the experience a number of times now where a project really comes together in that first meeting poring over the scope doc and deciding what stays and what goes. It prompts a lot of conversation and encourages a lot of clarity. When you all agree on the content of your scope doc, you’ve got a good grounding to move forward with your project, and a good sense of what will define success and failure.
Of course, a scope doc changes along the way at first. More about that a bit later.