Project Management

[ Project Management Topics ]

Scope Management

So your company is thinking about a project. One of the first things you need to do is an assessment. You should take into consideration the profitability, time to market, development needs, and commercial viability and compare that to other potential projects. It may be best to start out with an idea generation or brainstorming session. Next you should assess the overall feasibility, risk, and desirability of each project. Consider the degree to which each project fulfills overall company goals and objectives. After all, your primary objective is to help the company fulfill its overall mission, goals, and objectives through implementation of your project.

Establishing goals and expectations

  1. Make a broad list of all the projects goals and expectations (brainstorming may be good here)
  2. Remove anything that has no direct bearing on the project
  3. Debate about those things that might or might not have direct bearing on the project
  4. Eliminate anything that is really a step in meeting the goals and is not a goal for the end result of the project
  5. Make sure the goals meet the criteria above
  6. Assess if it is feasible to accomplish all of the goals in one project. If not, hone the list (perhaps doing "phases" or a step approach, each treated as a separate project and each with very clear boundaries established)


This is the process of formally authorizing a new project. Common reasons for initiating a new project include:

During this phase you will want to create and have approved a project charter. A project charter is a document that formally authorizes the project. It should include information about business need and product description. It should be issued by a manager external to the project, and at a level appropriate to the needs of the project. It provides the project manasger with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities.

Scope Management

Scope planning is where you define exactly what you a building, the objectives it will meet, and the quality it will be among other things. This gives the project its focus and evaluation criteria for meeting the customers needs. As the Project Management Institute (2000) notes, "scope planning is the process of progressively elaborating and documenting the project work (project scope) that produces the product of the project. Project scope planning starts with the initial inputs of product description, the project charter, and the initial definition of constraints and assumptions. Note that the product description incorporates product requirements that reflect agreed-upon customer needs and the product design that meets the product requirements. The outputs of scope planning are the scope statement and scope management plan, with the supporting detail. The scope statement forms the basis for an agreement between the project and the project customer by identifying both the project objectives and the project deliverables." (p. 55)

In a project context, scope may refer to two things:

"A project generally results in a single product, but that product may include subsidiary components, each with its own separate but interdpeendent product scopes. For example, a new telephone system would generally include four subsidiary components--hardware, software, training, and implementation." (PMI, p. 51)


Scope statement

Outcomes from scope planning should include a scope statement. A scope statement provides a documented basis for making future project decisions and for confirming or developing common understanding of project scope among stakeholders.

Learn more about Scope Statements

Related Resources

Case study: Case Study: Beware ''Scope Creep'' on ERP Projects, CFO Warns located at,5309,2432,00.html?f=related

Good words to know:

Project Management Institute (2000). A Guide to the Project Managment Body of Knowledge. Newton Square, PA: Project Management Institute, Inc.