Project Scope Definition

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Developing a scope statement is a useful first step for defining the scope of the project and setting a boundary. A project's scope, however, should also be defined in terms of the deliverables that the team must provide. These deliverables can be divided into project-oriented deliverables and product-oriented deliverables. This separation gives the team a clearer definition of the work to be accomplished and improves the likelihood of accurately assigning resources and estimating the time and cost of completing the work. Moreover, a clear definition of the project's deliverables sets unambiguous expectations and agreement among all of the project stakeholders.

Project-Oriented Scope

Project-oriented deliverables, or scope, support the project management and IT development processes that are defined in the information technology project methodology (ITPM). Project scope includes such things as the business case, project charter, and project plan and defines the work products of the various ITPM phases. Project-oriented deliverables also include specific deliverables such as a current systems study, requirements definition, and the documented design of the information system. These are deliverables supported by the systems development life cycle (SDLC) component of the overall ITPM.

Project-oriented deliverables require time and resources and, therefore, must be part of the overall project schedule and budget. Their role is to ensure that the project processes are being competed so that the project's product (i.e., the information system) achieves the project's MOV and objectives. Project-oriented deliverables also provide tangible evidence of the project's progress (or lack of progress). Finally, they allow the project manager to set a baseline for performance and quality control because they usually require some form of approval before work on the next project phase or deliverable begins.

Project-Oriented Scope Definition Tools All of the project deliverables must have a clear and concise definition. One way to communicate the project's deliverables is to create a deliverable definition table (DDT). An example of a DDT for our bank's electronic commerce system is illustrated in Table 5.2.

The purpose of the DDT is to define all of the project-oriented deliverables to be provided by the project team. Each deliverable should have a clear purpose. In addition, it is important to define the structure of the deliverable. For example, a deliverable could be a document (paper or electronic), prototype, presentation, or the application system itself. This sets the expectation of what will be delivered by the project team. Moreover, the standards provide a means to verify whether the deliverable was produced correctly. These standards could be defined within the IT Project methodology, controlling agency (e.g., International Organization for Standardization), or through various quality standards established by the organization. Each deliverable must be verified and approved generally by the project sponsor and/or the project manager. It is important that the responsibility for approving a deliverable be clearly defined as well. Once a deliverable is approved, the project team is authorized to begin work on the next deliverable. This provides authorization control as well as a basis for logically sequencing the work. Finally, it is important that the resources required to complete the deliverable be defined. This will provide the foundation for determining not only what resources will be needed for the project, but also for estimating the time and cost in completing each deliverable.

Tabic 5.2 Deliverable Definition Table




Approval Needed By Resources Required

Business case

Project charter & project plan

Technology &

organizational assessment

Requirements definition

User interface

Physical & technical design

Application system

Testing plan Testing results Change management and implementation plan

Training program

Final report & presentation

Project evaluations & lessons learned




Document Prototype


Files & database

Document Document Document

User documentation & training class Document


As defined in the project methodology

As defined in the project methodology

As defined in the project methodology

As defined in the project methodology As defined in the user interface guidelines

As defined in the project methodology

As defined in the project methodology

As defined in the project methodology As defined in the test plan

As defined in the project methodology

As defined in the implementation plan

As defined in the project methodology

As defined in the project methodology

Project sponsor

Project sponsor

Project manager & project sponsor

Project manager

Project sponsor

Project manager & project sponsor

Project sponsor

Project manager Project manager Project manager

Project manager & project sponsor

Project sponsor

Project manager & senior

Business case team & office automation (OA) tools

Project manager, project sponsor, & OA tools

Bank's systems analysts users, case tool, and OA tools System analyst, users, case tool. & OA tools System analyst, programmer, users, & integrated development environment (IDE) System analyst, programmer, & case tool

Programmers, system analysts, network specialists, program development tools, and relational database management system System analysts & OA tools

Programmers, system analysts, & OA tools Systems analysts & OA tools

Trainers, documentation writers, & OA tools Project Sponsor, project manager, & OA tools

Project team, knowledge management system

SOURCE: Inspired by Graham McLeod and Derek Smith, Managing Information Technology Projects (San Francisco: Boyd & Fraser, 1996), 51-52.

Once the deliverables have been defined in the DDT, a deliverable structure chart (DSC) can be developed as an interim step to define detailed work packages that will be used to estimate the project schedule and budget. Later on, these work packages will be used to create a work breakdown structure (WBS)—a tool used to help create the project plan. For example, Figure 5.3 provides an example of a


Since 1994, the Standish Group has studied over twenty-three thousand projects. It found that the number of IT projects delivered on time and within budget for Fortune 500 companies increased from 9 percent in 1994 to 24 percent by 1998. The average cost of IT projects has decreased from S2.3 million to SI.2 million as a result of a reduction in project scope. It appears that the likelihood of a project being developed on time and within budget is negatively correlated with project size. In other words, projects that take less than six months, have fewer than six people, and cost less than $750,000 have the highest probability of meeting the schedule and budget objectives. According to

Jim Johnson, president of Standish Group International, the best way to design and manage projects is to follow an iterative process that focuses on the most key features. Although more features can be added later on, they will probably be deemed unnecessary. The study also found that user involvement, executive support, experienced project management, clear business objectives, and good communication were important to project success.

Source: Adapted from Kathleen Melymuka, With IT Projects, Small is Beautiful, Computerworld, June 18, 1998. http://www 1280,2573 l.OO.html

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Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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