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Scope Management

  • Plan Scope Management—5.1
  • Collect Requirements—5.2
  • Define Scope—5.3
  • Create WBS—5.4

Scope management is the set of processes which ensures that the requirements of the customer are captured in a specification of work that ensures the delivery of the project’s deliverables, that all the project work is done, and that only the work required to complete the project is done. In other words, scope management makes sure that the project is completed without expending any unnecessary effort.

Plan Scope Management

The first process in scope management is a new process, plan scope management. The PMBOK Guide, Fifth Edition, adds several processes to separate the initial planning activities from other activities. While all the processes you will learn about in this chapter relate to planning, the new initial processes in scope management and three other process groups bring attention to the importance PMI places on proper planning. The plan scope management process creates the scope management plan. The scope management plan describes the project scope and documents how it will be further defined, validated, and controlled. This process results in a plan that gives the project team guidance on how to manage the scope throughout the project life cycle. Table 4.2 shows the inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs for the plan scope management process.

TABLE 4.2 Plan Scope Management Inputs, Tools and Techniques, and Outputs

Inputs

Tools and Techniques

Outputs

Project management plan

Expert judgment

Scope management plan

Project charter

Meetings

Requirements management plan

Enterprise environmental factors

Organizational process assets

Collect Requirements

The second process in the scope management process group is the collect requirements process. This process seeks to use multiple tools and techniques to collect all the project requirements from all the stakeholders. This process attempts to leave no stone unturned and results in a complete list of project requirements. When properly performed, the collect requirements process dramatically reduces surprises as the project moves toward completion. Table 4.3 shows the inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs for the collect requirements process. Pay particular attention to the various creative methods you can employ to develop a list of project requirements.

TABLE 4.3 Collect Requirements Inputs, Tools and Techniques, and Outputs

Inputs

Tools and Techniques

Outputs

Scope management plan

Interviews

Requirements documentation

Requirements management plan

Focus groups

Requirements traceability matrix

Stakeholder management plan

Facilitated workshops

Project charter

Group creativity techniques

Stakeholder register

Group decision-making techniques

Questionnaires and surveys

Observations

Prototypes

Benchmarking

Context diagrams

Document analysis

Define Scope

The next process, define scope, is a process that clearly states what the project will and will not accomplish. The supporting documents are reviewed to ensure that the project will satisfy the stated goals, and the resulting scope should state the stakeholders’ needs and clearly communicate the expectations for the performance of the project. Table 4.4 shows the inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs for the define scope process.

TABLE 4.4 Define Scope Inputs, Tools and Techniques, and Outputs

Inputs

Tools and Techniques

Outputs

Scope management plan

Expert judgment

Project scope statement

Project charter

Product analysis

Project document updates

Requirements documentation

Alternatives identification

Organizational process assets

Facilitated workshops

Work Breakdown Structure: A Common and Dangerous Omission

Many inexperienced project managers move too quickly from the scope statement to the activity sequencing processes. This practice is a mistake and often leads to activity omissions and inaccurate plans. PMI stresses the importance of creating a work breakdown structure (WBS) before moving to activity management processes.

A WBS provides the project manager and project team with the opportunity to decompose the high-level scope statement into much smaller, more manageable units of work, called work packages. The resulting WBS should provide a complete list of all work packages required to complete the project (and nothing more). Table 4.5 shows the inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs for the create WBS process.

TABLE 4.5 Create WBS Inputs, Tools and Techniques, and Outputs

Inputs

Tools and Techniques

Outputs

Scope management plan

Decomposition

Scope baseline (project scope statement, WBS, and WBS dictionary)

Project scope statement

Expert judgment

Project document updates

Requirements documentation

Enterprise environmental factors

Organizational process assets

In creating the WBS, the project team repeatedly decomposes the work of the project into smaller and smaller units of work, and the result is a collection of small work packages. The process continues until the resulting work packages are simple enough to reliably estimate duration and required resources. Don’t go overboard, though. When you have work packages that are manageable and each represent a single work effort, stop the process. Each project is different, so this process results in different levels of detail for each project.

The last main feature of the WBS is that it is organized in a hierarchical fashion. The highest level is the project. The children that represent project phases, divisions, or main deliverables are listed under the project. Each child process or task is divided into further levels of detail until the lowest level, the work package, is reached. Figure 4.2 depicts a sample WBS with multiple levels.

FIGURE 4.2

FIGURE 4.2 Sample work breakdown structure.

In addition to the WBS itself, another output of the create WBS process is the WBS dictionary. The WBS dictionary is a document that supports the WBS by providing detailed information for each work package. The WBS dictionary can contain many types of information, including

  • Work package name or identifier
  • Accounting code identifier
  • Description of work
  • Technical specifications
  • Quality requirements
  • Owner or responsible party assignment
  • Required resources
  • List of schedule milestones
  • Associated schedule activities
  • Cost estimates
  • Acceptance criteria
  • Contract information
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