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Scope Management Overview

When a construction site is being built, the constructor raises a fence on the sit defining the boundaries of the construction. This process of building a fence is called scoping. Scope management is the process of defining what work is required and then making sure all of that work and only that work is done. Large projects require more time, efforts and resources to gather requirements and thus define scope is important. Scope definition helps us to make sure that we are doing all the work but, only the work included in the scope management plan. Gold plating a project (adding extras) is not allowed. Changes in scope must be taken into consideration on all the knowledge areas of project management such as time, cost, risk, quality, resources and customer satisfaction.

Integrated change management process is required to approve changes to the scope of a project. Continuous monitoring of scope is required to determine what is and is not included in the project.

What is Scope?

The product and project scope is determined using inputs from the requirements document (created in Collect Requirements Process), project charter, additional information about project risks, assumptions, constraints, among others. This process is concerned with what is included and is not included in the project and its deliverables.

Project planning is not a one-time process. A project cannot be planned right at the start and kept as it is. Planning is an iterative process. Project Manager continues to follow the Project Management Planning process when the requirements have been determined. This information is used to identify the schedule and the budget. This schedule and budget may meet the expectations of the management or sponsor. If they don't, the project manager needs to review all the constraints of the project and needs to maintain equilibrium of the requirements (scope) against the budget and schedule. The project manager needs to create options for meeting the scope, time, and cost objectives of the project and help management make a decision. Compressing the schedule, identifying alternative ways to perform work on the project, or adjusting budget or the scope are some of the tasks to be completed by project manager while creating these options. A realistic schedule and budget that can achieve projects scope is the result of this exercise.

Project Scope Statement

Project scope statement is primarily an output of Define Scope Process. Development of project scope statement is a time consuming activity and may require multiple stakeholder participation including experts from outside the organization. The project manager avoid the following two things while defining the project scope statement:

  • Scope that is not approved: Project manager should identify areas where people requested scope but it was not approved to be included in the project.

  • Scope that is not needed: Project manager should clarify areas where the scope could easily be misunderstood.

Project Scope statement can include:

  • Product Scope

  • Project Scope

  • Deliverables

  • Acceptance criteria of the product

  • Out of scope activities

  • Constraints and assumptions

Product Analysis

Analysis of the objectives and description of the product as stated by the customer and the sponsor is the purpose of Product Analysis. The output of this analysis is an identification of tangible deliverable.