Unit 3 Scope -> Lesson Topic -> Chapter 5

Chapter 5 - Scope Management

A. Understand the elements that make good project scope management important

Scope refers to all the work involved in creating the products of the project and the processes used to create them. Projectscope management includes the processes involved in defining and controlling what is or is not included in a project. It ensures that the project team and stakeholders have the same understanding of what products the project will produce and what processes the project team will use to produce them. The five main processes involved in project scope management are:

  • scope planning
  • scope definition
  • creating the WBS
  • scope verification
  • scope control

B. Explain the scope planning process and describe the contents of a Scope Management Plan

The first step in project scope management is scope planning. The project?s size, complexity, importance, and other factors will affect how much effort is spent on scope planning. It is important for a project team to decide how they will define the scope, develop the detailed scope statement, create the work breakdown structure, verify the scope, and control the scope for every project they undertake. The main output of scope planning is a Scope Management Plan. The scope management plan is a document that includes descriptions of how the team will:

  • prepare the project scope statement,
  • create the WBS,
  • verify completion of the project deliverables, and
  • control requests for changes to the project scope.

C. Describe the process for developing a Project Scope Statement using the Project Charter and Preliminary Scope Statement

Key inputs of the Scope Management Plan include the project charter, preliminary scope statement, and project management plan. The project charter provides a basis for making scope management decisions. It describes the high-level scope goals for the project, a general approach to accomplishing the project?s goals, and the main roles and responsibilities of important project stakeholders. Additional input that assist in scope planning include information related to organizational process assets and environmental factors. The main tools and techniques available for scope planning include templates, forms, and standards, as well as expert judgment.

D. Discuss the scope definition process and construct a work breakdown structure using the analogy, top-down, bottom-up, and mind mapping approaches

Good scope definition is very important to project success because it helps improve the accuracy of time, cost, and resource estimates, it defines a baseline for performance measurement and project control, and it aides in communicating clear work responsibilities. The main tools and techniques used in scope definition include analyzing products, identifying alternative approaches to doing the work, understanding and analyzing stakeholder needs, and using expert judgment. The main output of scope definition is the Project Scope Statement. The preliminary project scope statement should provide basic scope information, and the project scope statement should continue to clarify and provide information that is more specific. Although contents vary, project scope statements should include, at a minimum, a description of the project, including its overall objectives and justification, detailed descriptions of all project deliverables, and the characteristics and requirements of products and services produced as part of the project.

After completing scope planning and definition processes, the next step in project scope management is to create a WorkBreakdown Structure (WBS). A work breakdown structure is a deliverable-oriented grouping of the work. The project scope statement and project management plan are the primary input for creating a WBS. The main tools and techniques include using WBS templates, and using decomposition or subdividing project deliverables into smaller pieces. The output of the process to create the WBS are the WBS itself, the WBS dictionary, a scope baseline, and updates to the project scope statement and scope management plan. A WBS is often depicted as a task-oriented family tree of activities, similar to an organizational chart.

There are several approaches you can use to develop a work breakdown structure. These approaches include:

  • using guidelines
  • the analogy approach
  • the top-down approach
  • the bottom-up approach
  • the mind-mapping approach

Many organizations provide guidelines and templates for developing WBSs, as well as examples of WBSs from past projects. There are a number of sample templates posted in a zip file in the Files area of the course. Of course, "a fool with a tool is still a fool" applies - that is, having a tool such as a template is not a substitute for knowing what should go into the template. In the analogy approach, you use a similar project?s WBS as a starting point. To use the top-down approach, start with the largest items of the project and break them into their subordinate items. In the bottom-up approach, team members first identify as many specific tasks related to the project as possible. They then aggregate the specific tasks and organize them into summary activities, or higher levels in the WBS. Mind mapping is a technique that uses branches radiating out from a core idea to structure thoughts and ideas. Instead of writing tasks down in a list or immediately trying to create a structure for tasks, mind mapping allows people to write and even draw pictures of ideas in a nonlinear format.

E. Explain the importance of scope verification and how it relates to scope definition and control

Even when the project scope is fairly well defined, many information technology projects suffer from scope creep?the tendency for project scope to keep getting bigger and bigger. For this reason, it is very important to verify the project scope and develop a process for controlling scope changes. Scope verification involves formal acceptance of the completed project scope by the stakeholders. This acceptance is often achieved by a customer inspection and then sign-off on key deliverables. To receive formal acceptance of the project scope, the project team must develop clear documentation of the project?s products and procedures to evaluate if they were completed correctly and satisfactorily. The project scope statement, WBS dictionary, project scope management plan, and deliverables are the main input for scope verification. The main tool for performing scope verification is inspection. The main outputs of scope verification are accepted deliverables, requested changes, and recommended corrective actions.

F. Understand the importance of scope control and approaches for preventing scope-related problems on information technology projects

Scope control involves controlling changes to the project scope. The goal of scope control is to influence the factors that cause scope changes, assure changes are processed according to procedures developed as part of integrated change control, and manage changes when they occur. You cannot do a good job of scope control if you do not first do a good job of scope definition and verification. The main inputs to scope control are:

  • project scope statement
  • project scope management plan
  • WBS and WBS dictionary
  • performance reports
  • work performance information
  • approved change requests

Two important tools for performing scope control include a change control system and configuration management. Other tools include replanning project scope and performing variance analysis. The outputs of scope control include:

  • requested changes
  • recommended corrective action
  • updates to the project scope statement, WBS and WBS dictionary, scope baseline, organizational process assets, and project management plan

To avoid project failures, it is crucial for information technology project managers and their teams to work on improving user input and reducing incomplete and changing requirements and specifications.

G. Describe how software can assist in project scope management

Project managers and their teams can use several types of software to assist in project scope management. You can use word processing software to create scope-related documents, and most people use spreadsheet or presentation software to develop various charts and graphs related to scope management. Project stakeholders also transmit project scope management information using various types of communication software such as e-mail and assorted Web-based applications. Project management software such as MS Project helps you develop a WBS, which serves as a basis for creating Gantt charts, assigning resources, allocating costs, and so on. Many information technology projects use special software for requirements management, prototyping, modeling, and other scope-related work. Because scope is such a crucial part of project management, there are many software products available to assist in managing project scope.

Now you can download the pdf notes pages for this chapter in two formats:

And view the Chapter 5 Presentation for some further explanations (presented in two parts):

This concludes the lesson topic. Proceed to the Post-Work for this Unit.