Work Definition and Scoping Process

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The general process (input, methods, output) for scope or work definition and organization is given in Figure 3-1. Inputs to the process are assembled from all the ideas and prerequisite information from the business side of the project balance sheet that describe the desired outcomes of the project, including constraints, assumptions, and external dependencies. Methods are the steps employed in the scope definition process to organize this information, decompose the given material into a finer granularity of functional and technical scope, and relate various elements of the project deliverables to each other. The outcome of the work definition and scoping process is an "organization of the deliverables" of the project, often in hierarchical list or chart form, or in relational form that supports multiple views.


Constraints and assumptions

Policies and external dependencies




Figure 3-1: Work Definition and Scoping Process.

We should note that the "organization of the deliverables" is not an organization chart of the project in the sense of responsibility assignments, reporting, and administration among project members. The "organization" we speak of is the logical relationship among, and definition of, the deliverables for which the project manager makes quantitative estimates for resources needs, risks, and schedule requirements on the project side of the project balance sheet. The name given to the organization of project deliverables is work breakdown structure (WBS). Suffice to say: all the scope of the project is contained in the WBS.

The process includes loops to validate and verify the completeness of the WBS. Validation refers to determining that everything on the WBS is there for a reason and is not inappropriate to the project scope. Validation also determines the proper hierarchical level for all deliverables and ensures hierarchical integrity. Verification is closely aligned with validation. Verification extends the concept back to the business owner or project sponsor to ensure that all scope has been accounted for and is on the WBS.

One purpose of the WBS organization is to serve the informational needs of those who will use the WBS in the course of managing and overseeing the project. Thus, the WBS should be organized to most effectively serve the management team. There are many possible ways to organize the information provided by the business, project team, project vendors, and others. Consider, for instance, these possibilities as illustrated in Figure 3-2: [21

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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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