Project Management – Define Scope
By Lani Dodge, Northwest University
How big is the project? Is it as big as the world? To ease the mind of the project manager, thankfully no, it has boundaries. And, if the work goes outside of these boundaries, then it is more than likely going to become out of balance. It becomes more difficult to manage, and it will likely exceed cost, schedule, or both. Therefore, the objective of define project scope is to describe that boundary, what is within, and what is without. This allows the project manager to state: “That request is out-of-scope” when what are judged to be new requirements come to the surface. Be aware as well the difference between product scope, the features and functions of a product or service, and project scope, the work that needs to be accomplished to deliver a product or service.
The project charter, stakeholder register, and the requirements document are immediate predecessors for the define scope function. This set of documents supports the project manager, project sponsor, and project team to understand enough about the project to define the boundary. They will use engineering or expert judgment, and a detailed product analysis, as well as a thorough review of organizational assets to initiate the scope statement. The define scope phase results in a project scope statement that describes the project deliverables in detail, and the work required to create those deliverables. Other project documents should not be neglected, and these must be updated accordingly as these will drive execution of the project.
Northwest University opened to students on October 1, 1934. It is a regionally accredited institution awarding associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degrees.
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