Scope Management - Scope Management

This article will explain the project scope management, as illustrated in PMBOK 5th edition, and will be useful for those inspiring to obtain PMP certification, or enhance their project management skills.

Introduction

Project scope management ensures all the desired work is properly included, defined, monitored, and controlled. No extra work is carried out, which is called gold plating or scope creep, since it entails utilization of project resources without adjustment of cost and schedule. Product scope is the features and functions of product, service, or result to be created by the project, while project scope is the work performed to deliver a product, service, or result with specified features and functions. Project scope may also include product scope. Scope baseline comprises the project scope statement, work breakdown (WBS), and the WBS Dictionary. Scope baseline can only be changed by the Perform Integrated Change Control Process, which includes a Change Control Board. Scope baseline is used as basis for comparison during the process of Validate Scope and Control Scope.

The processes in scope management are described in the under mentioned paras.

Plan Scope Management

In this process the scope management plan is created, which describes how the project scope will be defined, validated, controlled, and provides guidance throughout the project life cycle.

Collect Requirements

Stakeholder needs are defined, documented, and managed, which are the basis for defining and managing the project and product scope. Project success is intimately related to the precise definition of needs, and their decomposition into requirements and expectations of sponsor, customer, and other stakeholders. Requirements are analysed and recorded in the project scope baseline. Requirements are measured as project execution starts, and are foundation of work breakdown structure (WBS). All management plans, including cost, schedule, quality, and procurement plans are based on requirements of stakeholders. Requirements are developed by the analysis of project charter, stakeholder register, and stakeholder management plan.

Requirements are collected from pre-qualified stakeholders, and all differences are reconciled, which leads to consensus. All issues are resolved expeditiously. Group creativity techniques used for collecting requirements are:

Brainstorming - generate and collect multiple ideas.

Nominal group - brainstorming with voting.

Delphi - experts give opinion, and response is anonymous.

Idea/mind mapping - ideas mapped after brainstorming.

Affinity- ideas are sorted into groups for analysis.

Multicriteria decision analysis - decision matrix is used for decision making.

Define Scope

Project and product are defined in detail, by classifying the project boundaries. Final requirements are selected for the project scope, and project scope statement is developed. In iterative life cycle approach, initially high level vision is developed, and later detailed scope is determined, as work progresses. During definition of project scope, all risks, assumptions, and constraints are analysed.

Create Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

Deliverables and work are subdivided into small components to facilitate their management. Each descending level is more detailed. Work breakdown structure (WBS) defines the complete project scope, with work specified in the project scope statement. Work in lowest level of work breakdown structure (WBS) is called work packages, which can be easily scheduled, monitored, and controlled.

Validate Scope

Acceptance of deliverables are formalized from the customer. Validated deliverables received from Quality Control (QC) are reviewed with customer or sponsor, and acceptance is obtained. Basis for validation and acceptance are the Requirements Documentation, prepared during the process Collect Requirements. Scope baseline is used as reference for validation of scope. Validation of scope involves acceptance of deliverable by customer, and Quality Control (QC) is for their correctness. Normally Quality Control (QC) is conducted before the process of Validate Scope, but may be conducted in parallel.

Control Scope

Project and product scope are monitored, with reference to project scope baseline. Corrective and preventive actions are recommended to prevent scope creep, which is uncontrolled expansion to product or project scope, without adjustment of time, cost, and resources.