The Importance of Scope Planning in Project Management
By Clarise Z. Doval Santos
Part of the Scope Management Process of any project is Scope Planning. Scope Planning documents the project scope. Documenting the project scope is important to ensure that everyone affected by the project is on the same page. Wouldn’t life be easier if the project team works together towards a known goal with known constraints and scope? If the project sponsors are clear about the scope and the associated business benefits, business “buy-in” and support are ensured.
There are two important outputs for the Scope Planning Process. These are the Scope Statement and the Scope Management Plan.
The Scope Statement provides a common understanding of the project among stakeholders. Some organizations create a separate Scope Statement Document while others make it a part of the Project Charter or Project Plan. The Scope statement should provide the business justification for the project, deliverables, objectives and description of the result of the project. If everyone in the project is clear about the Scope Statement, scope creeps are easier to control.
Scope Management Plan
The Scope Management Plan details how the scope will be defined and managed. It also documents how changes to a scope will be handled. For example, in one of our 90-day data mart project, the scope was defined through a prioritization process of the business needs. This was clearly documented as well as the process in which any scope changes are handled. The business users were happy because they clearly understood the process of how the project was scoped. The users understood what requirements would be met for a particular 90-day increment of the project.
Creation of a change control board and a change order process are examples of how scope changes are handled. Everyone affected by the project must understand that there is a process and even an associated cost for any scope change. The Scope Management Plan should be part of the Project Plan.
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Clarise Z. Doval Santos, PMP, CTO, InterActive Systems & Consulting, Inc. has over 20 years of experience in project and program management focusing on data warehousing, business intelligence, data analysis and software/systems engineering. Her career encompasses all aspects of designing, implementing and managing enterprise solutions including development and engineering of Decision Support Systems, BI suites, OLAP tools, Portals & Dashboards, Data Marts and Data Warehouses.
InterActive Systems & Consulting, Inc. provides professional and hosted services for project management, program strategy, IT architecture & technical evaluation for data management & analysis, SOA (Services Oriented Architecture), MDM (Master Data Management), SaaS (Software as a Service), BI (business intelligence), data base applications, data warehousing, and collaboration initiatives. We work at the intersection of waterfall, agile and community methods to transform distributed workgroups into cohesive, powerful implementation teams.