Scope Management – Always Hope for Better Project Scope

Scope is a common term being used in project management most frequently, but not understood clearly. This article will explain the term “ scope “ in detail however, there is always chance of improvement, so readers feedback will be highly appreciated.

Scope is defined for product and project to determine the boundaries in terms of requirements. As a project manager, you should understand the business requirements of the project, because it will helps you to understand the objectives that company looking forward to achieve from the successful completion of the project. Once you understand the BRD/business case then you would be able to grasp the requirements covered in the scope document.

At current point of time, you must be thinking that why I am focusing too much on business case and business requirements, the reason being that most of the times scope doesn’t cover the needs of stakeholders which results:

1. Changes raised in later stages of the project
2. Heavy impact on project constraints; time, quality, scope, cost and risks
3. Dissatisfaction of important stakeholders
4. High occupancy of project manager and other important team resources in fire fighting for avoiding the changes

In order to avoid the aforementioned situations, you must request for BRD ( Business Requirements document ) from client or internal stakeholder, review it and provide your feedback on the same. It’s not important that everything mentioned in the BRD is doable, there could be number of business requirements for which you can propose alternatives or deny with logical reasoning. The feedback that provided by you with consent of your team on the BRD needs to be discussed and closed with the stakeholders before moving further with scoping.

Scope has two part product scope and project scope. Product scope is defined as the set of features or characteristics of a product itself. Whether considering design, function or component parts, the key point is that product scope refers to the actual tangible product. Project scope is all the work that is required to deliver the product scope.

Product and project scope terms are confusing sometimes, therefore I am going to give you a short and simple example to allow you to grasp these concepts. Suppose, a client asked you to develop the Internet banking system and share the requirements with you. In this case, Internet banking is the product and the requirements are the scope that was communicated to you by client.

Now you will start planning, executing, monitoring and closing to deliver the Internet banking systems. The end to end work that you have been done within the defined project constraints is known as project scope. Product scope focused on “ What “ part whereas project scope focused on “ How “ part.

Before closing this article lets have a look on the items which should be part of the scope statement which includes but not limited to; project information, product summary, project scope, project deliverable, project constraints, project assumptions, project high level risks and project acceptance criteria.

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