One of the most important factors in managing a project of any size is scope. Scope is defined and documented during the project planning phase of scope management and provides stakeholders with vital information regarding:
During project planning, the goal is to have the business and technical stakeholders agree to what will and what will not be delivered, as well as how to go about completing the work to achieve this. Below, is a very high-level summary of the phases within this knowledge area.
The process of planning scope management includes a few major components. Defining the business need for the project is an important first step. This definition informs stakeholders why the project work is being completed. The project objective is also very important because it informs stakeholders why the project charter was created to move forward with the work in the first place. Also, any detailed relationships between the business and product/service are vetted for reassurance. A few major outputs include the scope and requirements management plan.
Collecting requirements is at the core of scope management. Inputs, including the project charter and project management plan, are utilized to create assumptions, tasks, constraints, tools, and other items that will be required for completion. After using surveys, workshops, and requirements gathering sessions, the Project Sponsor and other key stakeholders are assigned.
The process of defining scope involves listing the project deliverables, acceptance criteria, budget, schedule, and requirements among other items within a detailed project scope statement. An important factor to not overlook is including what is also out of scope. The project scope statement is the key output to carry on to the next process.
Creating the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is next. By breaking down the scope statement, work packages are formed to visualize how the project tasks will be completed. The WBS resembles an organizational chart and serves as an excellent hierarchical visual. Requirements documentation is also reviewed so that the deliverables can be aligned accordingly.
The next process is validating scope. Customers will provide approval signatures, formally accepting the project deliverables. However, project deliverables can also be rejected and requested to be revised before moving forward. The Project Manager is still controlling output, so it is important to weigh each option that is presented before making any solidified choices.
Controlling scope is an ongoing phase which requires monitoring project status and managing changes to the baseline. Any additional requirements must be compared to performance reports, while also identifying any gaps that need to be assessed to the baseline to validate whether any changes will be accepted. The goal is to keep everything on track while working to prevent anything scope-related from changing.
As I mentioned, this was just a brief summary of what takes place during scope management. If you are interested in scope management or our other project management services, contact us today.