Project Scope Initiation

Project Scope Planning

Failure to define what is part of the project, as well as what is not, may result in work being performed that was unnecessary to create the product of the project and thus lead to both schedule and budget overruns.

Olde Curmudgeon, PMNetwork Magazine, 1994.

Scope planning is a process for defining and documenting the project work. More specifically, a project's scope defines all the work, activities, and deliverables that the project team must provide in order for the project to achieve its MOV. It is an important step in developing the project plan since one must know what work must be done before an estimate can be made on how long it will take and how much it will cost.

Scope Boundary

Defining the scope boundary is the first step to establishing what is, and what is not, part of the project work to be completed by the project team. Think of the scope boundary as a fence designed to keep certain things in and other things out. As Figure 5.2 illustrates, any work within the scope boundary should include only the work or activities that support the project's MOV. This work is what we want to capture and keep within our fence. On the other hand, a project team can spend a great deal of time doing work and activities that will not help the project achieve its MOV. As a result, the project will consume time and resources with very little return. Therefore, the scope boundary must protect the scope from these activities once it is set and agreed upon by the project stakeholders. Having a clear and agreed upon definition of the project MOV is critical for defining and managing the scope boundary.

The Scope Statement

Scope Statement

One way to define the scope boundary is to create a scope statement that documents the project sponsor's needs and expectations. For example, let's say we are outside consultants hired to develop an electronic commerce application for a bank. After developing and presenting a business case to our client, we have been given the authority to develop the project charter and plan. Although the business case provides a great deal of relevant information, we will still set up several meetings and interviews with key stakeholders in the bank. Based upon these meetings and interviews, we create a scope statement.

Scope Statement

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