Project scope refers to all the work, and only all the work that has to be undertaken so as to realize the set objectives and deliverables of a project.
Deliverable refers to the end products generated as part of project implementation processes.
Project scope management refers to all the processes involved in establishing what work procedures will be undertaken and which shall not, so as to accomplish the project objectives. Project scope is used later on during implementation to assess if the project is on track. There are five main processes in project scope management;
1. Collecting user requirements
A requirement is a condition or capability that is needed so as to solve a problem or achieve an established objective. Collecting user requirements is necessary so as to establish the features and functions of the system being implemented. Some of the methods used in collecting user requirements include one-on-one interviews, observations, prototyping, holding focus group and using group creativity are some of the ways one can use to collect user requirements. The outputs of this process are user requirements documentation, a requirements management plan and a requirements trace-ability matrix.
If user requirements are not collected or are collected wrongly, then the project will most likely fail to meet the user needs and therefore lead to its failure. A project can not achieve its objectives if user requirements are not met.
2. Defining scope
This process involves developing the scope statement by first reviewing the project charter, user requirements and process assets. If project scope is correctly defined, it will positively impact on other project process such as cost, time and resources utilization as it sets a base line for which these other processes can be evaluated. Some of the tools and techniques that a project manager can use in project scope definition include expert judgement, facilitated workshops, alternatives analysis and product analysis.
The major out of this process is the project scope statement. A project scope statement should include the product scope description, details about all the project deliverables and user acceptance requirements. Other outputs include project document updates.
3. Creating the Work Breakdown Structure
Many project managers believe that no work should be done if it is not included in the work break down structure, but what is a work break down structure? It is a subdivision of the main tasks involved in project execution in a deliverable-oriented manner. The work breakdown structure ensures that large and complex tasks are broken down into small and easily manageable tasks as per the project milestones. The logical subdivision of tasks provides a basis for for controlling project schedules and resource utilization.
Creating a work breakdown structure requires the requirements documentation, project scope statement and process assets for development (inputs).
The out puts of the process are the WBS itself, a WBS dictionary (a detailed description of each item task in the WBS), a scope baseline and updates to the scope documents.
Approaches used in developing a WBS are using established organizational guidelines, the analogy approach, mind-mapping, bottom-up and bottom-down approach.
4. Scope Verification
The project manager needs to come up with a way to validate the user requirements. Scope verification involves the formal acceptance of project deliverables by the stakeholders in the project. Verification ensures that users get what they want at the end of the project. All project stakeholders formally inspect the project deliverables and either accept them or request for changes if they are not satisfied.
Scope creep refers to the tendency of the project scope to keep growing over the time of project implementation. This is usually due to constant changes on the scope statement.
The out puts of this process are the verified scope statement and change request documents.
5. Scope control
It involves effectively managing all the changes that are made to the project scope throughout the project implementation cycle. Scope changes negatively impact on the schedule and cost of the project. Proper scope control starts with proper management of user requirements, scope definition and scope verification. Assessment of scope control involves analysis of variance. This analysis helps to determine differences between the original plan and the actual performance.
The outputs of this process are performance measurements, updates to process assets, change requests and other changes to project documents.