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Project Management

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Difference between Scope, Objectives and Goals

Difference between Business Case, Project Charter and Scope Document

Scope Creep

Project Scope Management

26.1 Scope:

Scope is what the project contains or delivers. When starting to plan the scope of the project,

think about the big picture first. At this level it is best to concentrate on major deliverables and

not get bogged down with detail.

26.1.1: Why is Scope Important?

Scope of a project is the sum total of all of a project’s products and their requirements

or features.

Sometimes the term scope is used to mean the totality of work needed to complete a


In traditional project management, the tools to describe a project’s scope (product) are

the product breakdown structure and product descriptions. The primary tool to describe

a project’s scope is the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).

Extreme project management advocates the use of user stories, feature lists and feature

cards to describe a project’s scope (product-deliverable).

If requirements are not completely defined and described and if there is no effective

change control in a project, scope or requirements creep may ensue.

26.2 Difference Between Scope (In/Deferred/Out), Objectives and Goals:

Goals and objectives are what the business wants to achieve through this project. Goals and

objectives define WHY the client wants to undertake the project.

Scope defines the size of the project. Scope can include such areas as:

a) Departments

b) Geographic locations

c) Deliverables

d) Features and functions

Often scope is limited by schedule and budget constraints.

Something in scope will be included in the current release or stage. Something deferred will be

delivered in a later release. Something out of scope will not be included in the project. It is

important to explicitly identify items out of scope to reduce misunderstandings which can

generate conflict and hard feelings.

26.3 Difference Between Business Case, Project Charter and Scope Document?

A business case is usually prepared before project approval. If you are a contractor, your

proposal would be similar a business case.

A project charter providing the project manager with formal authorization to proceed with the

project is issued to a team by the project sponsor before the project starts.

Project scope document defines the project scope. It should be attached to the business case and

to the project charter. The project scope will be refined as you proceed through the project.

Scope is bound to change, and this is to be expected. As the detail becomes clearer, more

complications creep in. These are not foreseeable at the start and hopefully we build in a

contingency for what we cannot see.

26.4 Scope Creep:

Scope creep (also called requirement creep, feature creep, and sometimes kitchen sink

syndrome) in project management refers to uncontrolled changes in a project’s scope. This

phenomenon can occur when the scope of a project is not properly defined, documented, or

controlled. It is generally considered a negative occurrence to be avoided.

Typically, the scope increase consists of either new products or new features of already

approved product designs, without corresponding increases in resources, schedule, or budget.

As a result, the project team risks drifting away from its original purpose and scope on

unplanned additions, and also because of one’s tendency to focus on only one dimension of


Therefore, scope creep can also result in a project team overrunning its original budget and

schedule. As the scope of a project grows, more tasks must be completed at the same time and

cost frame as original series of project tasks.

Scope creep can be a result of:

  • Poor change control
  • Lack of proper initial identification of what is required to bring about the project objectives.
  • Weak project manager or executive sponsor
  • Poor communication between parties.

Scope creep is a risk in most projects. Most mega projects fall victim to scope creep. Scope

creep often results in cost overrun.

26.4.1 Features (Technology) Scope Creep Management:

Features (Technology) Scope Creep Management occurs when the scope creep is

introduced by technologists adding features not originally contemplated. It is developed

by technologists, for customer pleasing or technical gold-plating purposes where

features are added to project (IT) by technologists causing scope creep.

Customer-pleasing scope creep occurs when the desire to please the customer through

additional product features adds more work to the current project rather than to a new

project proposal. It results from an organization and/or individual whose ultimate goal

is to please customer while acting reluctant to reject proposed changes in requirement

of project.

Gold-plating scope creep occurs when technologists augment the original requirements

because of a bias toward "technical perfectionism" or because the initial requirements

were insufficiently clear or detailed. It is different, and is a result of technologists

adding substance or additions to original requirements, because of lack of details in

initial business’ requirements.

26.4.2 Scope Management Plan:

It is one of the major scope communication documents. The Project Scope Management

Plan documents how the project scope will be defined, managed, controlled, verified

and communicated to the project team and stakeholders/customers. It also includes all

work required to complete the project.

The documents are used to control what is in and out of the scope of the project by the

use of a Change Management system. Items deemed out of scope go directly through

the change control process and are not automatically added to the project work items.

The Project Scope Management plan is included in as one of the sections in the overall

project management plan. It can be very detailed and formal or loosely framed and

informal depending on the communication needs of the project.

26.5 Project scope management:

Processes used to identify all the work required to successfully complete the project.

  • Initiation
  • Scope Planning
  • Scope Definition
  • Scope Verification
  • Scope Change Control
  • Product Scope:

This refers to the features and functions that are to be included in a product or service.

Successful completion of product scope is measured against the requirements.

Project Scope:

This refers to the work that must be done to deliver the product with specified features and

functions. Successful completion of project scope is measures against the plan.

26.5.1 Scope Initiation:

Formal authority that a project exists and recognizing that it should continue its next


  • Appointment of project team
  • Introduction
  • Needs identification
  • Market research
  • Opportunity studies
  • Political input
  • Tendering
  • Project objectives and constraints
  • Characteristics of objectives
  • Strategic plan and objectives
  • Constraints
  • Project cost limit
  • Performance measures
  • Additional input to project selection and initiation Project Charter:

The project charter is the document that formally recognizes existence of a

project. It refers to the business need the project is addressing. It describes the

products to be delivered. It gives project manager the authority to apply

organizational resources to project activities.

26.5.2 Scope Planning:

It is a written statement that includes:

  • Project justification
  • Major deliverables
  • Project objectives

It refers to the criteria used to determine if the project or phase has been completed


Scope planning is defining and managing the project scope influences the project’s

overall success. Each project requires a careful balance of tools, data sources,

methodologies, processes and procedures, and other factors to ensure that the effort

expended on scoping activities is commensurate with the project’s size, complexity, and

importance. Scope Management Plan:

The project scope management plan provides guidelines on how project scope

will be defined, documented, verified, managed, and controlled by the project

management team.

Scope management plan describes:

  • How scope changes will be identified and classified.
  • How scope changes will be integrated into the project.
  • Expected stability of the project.

26.5.3 Scope Definition:

This is where we get down to detail. It provides the detailed information for the Scope

Plan, often called the Scope Definition Document. It provides the basis for estimating

cost, time and resources, performance measurement and responsibilities.

Generally the scope definition document is presented in list format but development of

the document requires some brainstorming activities that are best done with the key

stakeholders and the project team involved. Developing Preliminary and Detailed Project Scope Statement:

The project scope statement is the definition of the project – what needs

to be accomplished.

The preliminary project scope statement is developed from the

information provided by the initiator or sponsor. The project

management team in the scope definition process further refines the

preliminary project scope statement into the project scope statement.

The project scope statement content will vary depending upon the

application area and complexity of the project. During subsequent

phases of multi-phase projects the Preliminary Project Scope Statement

process validates and refines, if required, the project scope defined for

that phase.

The preparation of a detailed project scope statement is critical to

project success and builds upon the major deliverables, assumptions,

and constraints that are documented during project initiation in the

preliminary project scope statement. During planning, the project scope

is defined and described with greater specificity because more

information about the project is known.

Stakeholder needs, wants, and expectations are analyzed and converted

into requirements. The assumptions and constraints are analyzed for

completeness, with additional assumptions and constraints added as

necessary. The project team and other stakeholders, who have

additional insight into the preliminary project scope statement, can

perform and prepare the analyses.

Defining what project scope means is critical. We have all been in the

meetings where two or three people leave with different impressions of

the discussion. Creating a project scope statement is a key way to

ensure everyone is on the same page. The Project Scope Statement

defines the project scope and what needs to be accomplished to meet

the project’s objectives.

Value of Sound Scope Statement:

With a sound scope statement, one can clearly understand the

project details, deliverables and its boundaries. Product description

helps to explain and understand the details for accomplishing

objectives. It is essential to be sensitive to customer’s constraints,

assumptions, budgetary restrictions as well as definite limitations.

Thus, it is necessary to follow project scope to have concrete

decision making ability during the project. As a result of this, the

team involved begins to identify risks and issues that could cause

any delay in the project. Also, any scope deviations must be

communicated immediately to all stakeholders including

customers. Inputs to Defining Project Scope:

The five inputs to defining project scope are:

1. Organizational Process Assets:

Organizational process assets provide information about

standards that the company has already set in place—standards

that are likely to be applied to every project. This information

is re-used when creating the Project Scope Statement.

2. Project Charter:

The project charter authorizes the existence of the project. It

outlines the project objectives, which project managers need to

detail further in the Project Scope Statement.

3. Preliminary Project Scope Statement:

The Preliminary Project Scope Statement provides a

description of the major project deliverables, project objectives,

project assumptions, project constraints, and a statement of



4. Project Scope Management Plan:

The Project Scope Management Plan provides a description of

how the stated project objectives will be developed within the

detailed Project Scope Statement.

5. Approved Change Requests:

Change request which are agreed-upon and documented

amendments to project scope. Approved change requests will

ultimately be added to the Project Scope Statement. Outputs to Defining Project Scope:

The project scope statement describes, in detail, the project’s

deliverables and the work required to create those deliverables. The

project scope statement also provides a common understanding of the

project scope among all project stakeholders and describes the project’s

major objectives. It also enables the project team to perform more

detailed planning, guides the project team’s work during execution, and

provides the baseline for evaluating whether requests for changes or

additional work are contained within or outside the project’s


1. Scope Statement:

The degree and level of detail to which the project scope statement

defines what work will be performed and what work is excluded

can determine how well the project management team can control

the overall project scope. Managing the project scope, in turn, can

determine how well the project management team can plan,

manage, and control the execution of the project.

The detailed project scope statement includes, either directly or by

reference to other documents:

Project Objectives: Project objectives include the measurable

success criteria of the project. Projects may have a wide variety

of business, cost, schedule, technical, and quality objectives.

Project objectives can also include cost, schedule, and quality


Product Scope Description:

It describes the characteristics of the product, service, or result

that the project was undertaken to create. These characteristics

will generally have less detail in early phases and more detail

in later phases as the product characteristics are progressively

elaborated. While the form and substance of the characteristics

will vary, the scope description should always provide

sufficient detail to support later project scope planning.

Project Requirements:

It describes the conditions or capabilities that must be met or

possessed by the deliverables of the project to satisfy a

contract, standard, specification, or other formally imposed

documents. Stakeholder analyses of all stakeholder needs,

wants, and expectations are translated into prioritized


Project Boundaries:

Identifies generally what is included within the project. It states

explicitly what is excluded from the project, if a stakeholder

might assume that a particular product, service, or result could

be a component of the project.

Project Deliverables:

Deliverables include both the outputs that comprise the product

or service of the project, as well as ancillary results, such as

project management reports and documentation. Depending on

the project scope statement, the deliverables may be described

at a summary level or in great detail.

Product Acceptance Criteria:

It defines the process and criteria for accepting completed


Project Constraints:

Lists and describes the specific project constraints associated

with the project scope that limits the team’s options. For

example, a predefined budget or any imposed dates (schedule

milestones) that are issued by the customer or performing

organization are included. When a project is performed under

contract, contractual provisions will generally be constraints.

The constraints listed in the detailed project scope statement

are typically more numerous and more detailed than the

constraints listed in the project charter.

Project Assumptions:

Lists and describes the specific project assumptions associated

with the project scope and the potential impact of those

assumptions if they prove to be false. Project teams frequently

identify, document, and validate assumptions as part of their

planning process. The assumptions listed in the detailed project

scope statement are typically more numerous and more detailed

than the assumptions listed in the project charter.

Initial Project Organization:

The members of the project team, as well as stakeholders, are

identified. The organization of the project is also documented.

Initial Defined Risks:

Identifies the known risks.

Schedule Milestones:

The customer or performing organization can identify

milestones and can place imposed dates on those schedule

milestones. These dates can be addressed as schedule


Fund Limitation:188

Describes any limitation placed upon funding for the project,

whether in total value or over specified time frames.

Cost Estimate:

The project’s cost estimate factors into the project’s expected

overall cost, and is usually preceded by a modifier that

provides some indication of accuracy, such as conceptual or


Project Configuration Management Requirements:

It describes the level of configuration management and change

control to be implemented on the project.

Project Specifications:

Identifies those specification documents with which the project

should comply.

Approval Requirements:

It identifies approval requirements that can be applied to items

such as project objectives, deliverables, documents, and work.

2. Requested Changes:

Requested changes to the project management plan and its

subsidiary plans may be developed during the Scope Definition

process. Requested changes are processed for review and

disposition through the Integrated Change Control process.

3. Project Scope Management Plan (Updates):

The project scope management plan component of the project

management plan may need to be updated to include approved

change requests resulting from the project’s Scope Definition


26.5.4 Scope Verification:

This process is carried out whenever one or more deliverables are ready to be handed

over. It consists of obtaining the stakeholders’ formal acceptance of the work


Verifying the project scope includes reviewing deliverables to ensure that each is

completed satisfactorily. If the project is terminated early, the project scope verification

process should establish and document the level and extent of completion. Scope

verification differs from quality control in that scope verification is primarily concerned

with acceptance of the deliverables, while quality control is primarily concerned with

meeting the quality requirements specified for the deliverables. Quality control is

generally performed before scope verification, but these two processes can be

performed in parallel.

26.5.5 Scope Change Control:

The scope changes that usually cause problems are those where the perception of what

was in and out of scope was different between various parties. The Project Manager

assumed there would only be four or five reports, and the business assumed ten to


twenty. Nobody felt it was worth talking about because they assumed the other person

thought the same way they did.

The scope management section of the project plan is a formalized document that

captures the processes for handling Scope Changes. The last output of scope

management is that of “Scope Control”. The project manager should implement a

process to ensure the project’s goals and objectives will be monitored throughout the


The project manager must be made aware of any discrepancies of project activities or

potential risks promptly that deviate from the baseline or work breakdown schedule, in

order to minimize any delays to the schedule which can ultimately cause project failure.

It is the project manager’s responsibility to provide guidance for any corrective action

and means of communications to all team members involved at any level of the project.

With adequate scope control mechanisms executed, the team’s progress and

performance can be measured. This will resolve any potential issues to the schedule and

decrease resource conflicts.

Project scope control is concerned with influencing the factors that create project scope

changes and controlling the impact of those changes. Scope control assures all

requested changes and recommended corrective actions are processed through the

project Integrated Change Control process.

Project scope control is also used to manage the actual changes when they occur and is

integrated with the other control processes. Uncontrolled changes are often referred to

as project scope creep. Change is inevitable, thereby mandating some type of change

control process.

Scope creep (as already discussed) is a term which refers to the creeping forward of the

scope of a project. It sometimes causes cost overrun. It is a term which refers to the

incremental expansion of the scope of a project, which may include and introduce more

requirements that may not have been a part of the initial planning of the project.

There are two distinct ways to separate scope creep management, the first is business

scope creep, and the second is called features (also technology) scope creep. The type

of scope creep management is nearly always dependent upon on the people who create

the changes.

Business scope creep management occurs when decisions that are made with reference

to a project are designed to solve or meet the requirements and needs of the business.

Business scope creep changes may be a result of poor requirements definition early in

development, or the failure to include the users of the project until the later stage of the

systems development life cycle.

The type of scope creep management is always dependent upon on the people who

create the changes.

Scope creep management is significant in many organizations all around the world, as

many projects that an organization will set out on have a project scope. Since projects

are expected to have strict deadlines with time, budget and quality restraints, the effect

of a change in the scope can ultimately affect the success of the project.


If the approved change requests have an effect upon the project scope, then the project

scope statement is revised and reissued to reflect the approved changes. The updated

project scope statement becomes the new project scope baseline for future changes.

Scope Approval:

The scope management plan is a formal document that explains how the project scope

will be managed and how scope changes will be factored into the project plan.

Once the scope is developed, the elements are thoroughly discussed and agreed on by

the project team, stakeholders, sponsors and customers. Then scope definition is signedoff

formally and the changes are discussed thoroughly by the project manager. With

“acceptance/signed scope approval” project manager responds to ensure complete and

monitored processing. Also, the customers are being noticed for every change to avoid

project creep and risks.

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