Scope Management

November 10, 2010


There is a huge opportunity for failure when a Project Manager is managing a project. An area that can really complicate a project is Scope Management. As stated in the PMBOK, Project Scope Management includes the processes to ensure that the project includes all the work required, and only the work required, to complete the project successfully. 1

Scope Management follows a 5 step process:

1. PLANNING – this first step is the process by which we document the requirements needed to meet all project objectives. The foundation of this process is the project charter and stakeholder register. From these, the team can identify requirements, collectively discuss details associated with meeting each requirement, conduct interviews and follow-on discussion to clarify the requirements, and document the requirements in sufficient detail to measure them once the project begins the execution phase. This documentation also serves as an input to the next step in the process which is to define. 4

2. DEFINED – Scope is defined and redefined using five different levels of planning that take the team from the broad vision down to what team members plan to complete today.

3. WBS (Work Breakdown Structures) – are not created per se; instead, release/quarterly plans an iteration plans serve to breakdown the work into smaller work packages, referred to as “features and tasks.”

4. VERIFICATION – Scope is verified by the customer, who is responsible for accepting or rejecting the features completed each iteration.

5. CONTROLLED – Scope is controlled through the use of the backlog, rolling wave planning, and the protection of the iteration 2

Scope Management Approach

It is important that the approach to managing the projects’ scope be clearly defined and documented in detail. This section provides a summary of the Scope Management Plan in which it addresses the following:

•Who has authority and responsibility for scope management

•How the scope is defined (i.e. Scope Statement, WBS, WBS Dictionary, Statement of Work, etc.)

•How the scope is measured and verified (i.e. Quality Checklists, Scope Baseline, Work Performance Measurements, etc.)

•The scope change process (who initiates, who authorizes, etc.)

•Who is responsible for accepting the final project deliverable and approves acceptance of project scope3

The sole responsibility of the Project Manager is scope management. If there are any changes to be made they will be initiated by the Project Manager, Stakeholders or any member of the project team. If changes are made they will be submitted to the Project Manager who will evaluate the requested scope change to the Change Control Board and Project Sponsor for acceptance. Once the scope changes have been approved by the Change Control Board and Project Sponsor the Project Manager can now update all project documents and communicate the scope change to all stakeholders.

In order to successfully manage a projects’ scope it’s important that all roles and responsibilities for scope management are clearly defined. This section defines the role of the Project Manager, Project Team, Stakeholders and other key persons who are involved in managing the scope of the project. It should state who is responsible for scope management and who is responsible for accepting the deliverables of the project as defined by the projects’ scope. Any other roles in scope management should also be stated in this section.3

A question that may arise is, “who plays the key roles in managing the scope of the project?” The answer to this question is the Project Manager, Sponsor and team members all do. All of these key roles players must be aware of their responsibilities in order to ensure that duties performed on the project are within the established scope throughout the entire duration of the project.

1. PMBOK Guide

2. Software Project Manager Agility, Chapter 5, pg 81

3. Project Managements Docs, ( )


“By: Monica”

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