Developing the Scope Statement

To define the project scope and communicate it to other key stakeholders, you develop and record the scope statement. Depending on your organization's planning methods, certain elements of the scope statement might be defined very early, sometimes even before you've been assigned as project manager. Other elements might be defined just before you begin identifying and sequencing the project's tasks. Your scope statement should include the following:

Project justification. The scope statement should define the business need or other stimulus for this project. This justification provides a sound basis for evaluating future decisions, including the inevitable tradeoffs.

Product description. The scope should characterize the details of the product or service being created. The project justification and product description together should formulate the goals of the project. Project constraints or limitations. The scope should include any limiting factors to the project. Factors that can limit a project's options include a specific budget, contractual provisions, a precise end date, and so on.

Project assumptions. The scope should list any elements considered to be true, real, or certain—even when they might not be—for the sake of being able to continue developing the project plan and moving forward. By their nature, assumptions usually carry a degree of risk. For example, if you don't know whether the building for a commercial construction project will be 10,000 or 15,000 square feet, you have to assume one or the other for the sake of planning. The risk is that the other choice might end up being correct. You can adjust the plan after the facts are known, but other project dependencies might already be in place by then.

Note Because we use the term constraints throughout this book to mean task constraints, in this chapter we're using the term limitations to refer to overall project constraints.

Note Although the project justification and product description are typically broad statements that remain unchanged through the iterative planning process, that's not necessarily the case with project limitations and assumptions. As the scope becomes more tightly defined, the limitations and assumptions come to light and are better exposed. Likewise, as you continue down the road in the planning process, the entire project scope tends to become more and more focused.

Project deliverables. The scope should list the summary-level subproducts created throughout the duration of the project. The delivery of the final subproject deliverable marks the completion of the entire project. This list might bring into focus major project phases and milestones, which will be valuable when you start entering tasks into your project plan.

Project objectives. The scope should enumerate the measurable objectives to be satisfied for the project to be considered successful. The objectives map to the deliverables and are driven by the project goals, as described by the project justification and product

description. To be meaningful, the project objectives must be quantifiable in some way, for example, in terms of a specific dollar amount, a specific timeframe, a specific value, or a specific level of quality.

Note Your scope statement might also address other project planning issues such as communications, quality assurance, and risk management. The scope statement can define the reporting requirements and the collaboration tools to be implemented. The scope statement can also specify the minimum level of quality acceptable, define the potential risks associated with the itemized limitations and assumptions, and stipulate methods of countering the risks.

Product scope and project scope are intricately linked. The project scope relies on a clear definition of the product scope. The project scope is fulfilled through the completion of work represented in the project plan. Likewise, product scope is fulfilled by meeting the specifications in the product requirements.

With the draft of the scope statement in hand, you have a document you can use to clearly h communicate with other project stakeholders. This draft helps you flush out any cross-pur-

t poses, mistaken assumptions, and misplaced requirements. As you continue to refine the

® scope statement, the project vision is honed to the point where all the stakeholders should have a common understanding of the project. And because all the stakeholders participated in the creation of the vision, you can feel confident that everyone understands exactly what they're working toward when you begin to execute the project plan.

Project Management Made Easy

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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