Scope Management is an important knowledge area in Project Management. Project scope is the part of project planning that involves determining and documenting a list of specific project goals, deliverables, features, functions, tasks, deadlines, and ultimately costs. In other words, it is what needs to be achieved and the work that must be done to deliver a project. Project Scope Management refers to the set of processes that ensure a project’s scope is defined and mapped accurately. Scope Management techniques allow project managers and supervisors to allocate just the right amount of work necessary to complete a project successfully. A Project Scope Statement is a useful tool to outline the project’s deliverables and identify the constraints, assumptions and key success factors. The well-written scope statement clearly defines the boundaries of a project.
As per Project Management Body of Knowledge, there are 6 process in Scope Management.
- Plan Scope Management- Plan scope management is the first process that describes the project scope and documents how it will be further defined, validated, and controlled. Following are the details of this process.
Scope Management plan is the one of the output of this process. It gives the guidelines on how the scope will be deifined,developed, monitored , controlled and verified. The other output is Requirement Management plan which provides a common understanding of the requirement among stakeholder.
2 Identify Project Requirement
This process involves documenting stakeholders’ needs with the stated intent of meeting the project’s objectives. In this process, managers use several techniques and tools for collecting project requirements from stakeholders. The process attempts to leave no stone unturned, resulting in an in-depth list of project requirements. If this process is performed thoroughly and correctly, it can significantly reduce the possibility of unpleasant surprises as the project moves toward completion.
The out put of this process gives a clear requirement documentation.
3 Define Scope:
This process involves the preparation of a detailed description of the project and its major deliverables. The scope clearly states what the project is supposed to achieve and what it cannot accomplish. The supporting documents are reviewed to ensure that the project will deliver work in line with the stated goals. The scope that results states the stakeholders’ needs and communicates expectations for project performance.
A Very Important output from this process is scope statement.
4 Work Break Down Structure(WBS):
Another important process is WBS.A WBS, is “a deliverable-oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables. It organizes and defines the total scope of the project.
One of the important output from this process is scope baseline. Scope Baseline determines the critical line which determines the project scope, deliverables, assumptions and constraints.This is the line which needs be maintained and any change in scope must be reviewed with respect to this baseline.It acts as reference point during the project life cycle.
- Validate Scope
The Validate Scope process focuses mainly on customer acceptance. It is when the project customer formally accepts all the project deliverables. This process occurs at the end of each phase. During the process, the customer gives feedback on the work that was performed.
Deliverables that meet acceptance criteria are verified , signed off and approved by the customer. This is very critical for closing the project or project phase.
6 Control Scope
Control Scope is the last process group of project Scope Management. The Control Scope process involves monitoring the status of the project and managing changes to the scope.
Changes are investable in project. Therefore some type of change control process is mandatory for every project.Control scope process ensures all recommended changes , corrective and preventives actions are processed through integrated change control process. Here, it is very important to know one term called “scope creep”.Uncotrolled expansion to project or product scope without the adjustments to time, cost and resources is referred as Scope Creep. Scope creep is a risk in most projects. Most megaprojects fall victim to scope creep. Scope Creep often results in cost overrun. A value for free strategy is difficult to counteract and remains difficult challenge for even the most experienced project managers.
How to Control Scope Creep.
- Be vigilant from day one. …
- Understand your client’s vision. …
- Understand the project requirements. …
- Include a process for changing scope. …
- Guard against gold plating. …
- Use your online project management software
What is Gold Plating. It is adding some extra features or functions over the specifications. This is not required to be done. Some people get over enthusiastic and to please some people they commit such mistakes.
It is very Important to Note:
Ambiguity in scope often leads to unnecessary work and confusion. To avoid this, the scope needs to be clearly defined and precise.
- Incomplete Definition
Incomplete scopes lead to schedule slips, which lead to cost overruns. To avoid this, the scope needs to be complete and accurate.
Transient scopes lead to scope creep—the primary cause of late deliveries and “never-ending” projects. To avoid this, the scope document needs to be finalized and remain unaltered for the duration of the project.
- Un collaborative Scope
A scope that is not collaboratively prepared causes misinterpretations in requirements and designs. To avoid this, the scope document should be shared with all stakeholders at every step of the scope definition process.