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Scope Management Overview

When a construction site is being built, the constructor raises a fence on the site 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. Scope management plan should include the detailed process of scope determination, its management, and its control. This needs to be planned in advance. The project manager must seek formal approval on a well-defined and clearly articulated scope. To identify scope, requirements must be gathered from all stakeholders. Gathering requirements from only a few stakeholders or only the sponsor might lead to the incorrect definition of scope.

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 take into consideration 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 scope of a project. Continuous monitoring of scope is required to determine what is and is not included in the project.

Product Scope

Product Scope is nothing but “What customer wants?” An organization can execute another project to identify a product scope or it could be the part of requirements gathering of your project.

An example of product scope would be: On a project to build a new software application, the product scope is “a new workflow application that fulfills the requirements of our internal and external customers.” To determine if the project successfully achieved the product scope, the resulting application (the new product) is compared to the application requirements, which are recorded in the requirements documentation and the project scope statement for the project.

Project Scope

The project scope is the work the project will do to deliver the product of the project (i.e. the product scope). In the software application development example, the project scope is the work that is to be done to develop the software application. This work includes the planning, coordination, and management activities (such as meetings and reports) that ensure the product scope is achieved. These efforts are a part of the project management plan and are further a part of the scope management plan. At the end of the project or the phase, the completed work is compared against the scope baseline in the project management plan to determine if the scope has been successfully completed.

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