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What is Project Scope Management, and Why is it important?

Project Scope Management

Project scope management is a process that gets implemented at the beginning of a project to help project managers define the project’s goals, objectives, deliverables, and more. It is an integral part of the planning process for any project because it helps teams determine the project’s outcome along with an appropriate timeline. Certified project managers who have completed their PMP course can successfully implement project scope management processes in their projects.

A project manager needs to understand the importance of project scope management to implement the processes correctly. The article discusses the project scope, what goes into a project plan, the processes involved, and its importance.

What is Project Scope Management?

Project scope management is the set of techniques and processes that project managers need to implement to determine their project’s outcome. The methods involve creating a list of all the project goals, deliverables, accurate deadlines, and the project’s overall flow. Project scope management is the first step in planning a project and needs to be done before the team starts to work on their deliverables. 

The process will help all team members understand their roles in developing, deployment, quality control, and project maintenance. Budgeting is another essential part of the project scope management process and the project planning process. The resources that need to be allocated are decided along with the project’s budget right from the beginning. This way, it becomes easier for project managers to track their project changes and compare them to their decided timeline.

How is Project Scope Defined?

Project scope management processes cannot be implemented before the project manager and their team define the project scope. The project scope will include the various parts of a project that define the project’s boundaries. The project scope acts as a guideline for the project manager and provides the scope for changes also. 

The best way to define a project’s scope is to speak to all the stakeholders involved to understand what they want from the final result. Understanding the main goal can help reduce the changes that need to be made to the project later, which is the project scope management process’s primary objective. Three main categories determine the scope of a project. They are:

  • The deliverables of the project: These include internal and external deliverables. The external deliverables are those that need to be showcased to the stakeholders and end-users. Internal deliverables are the requirements of the project that need to be addressed for external deliverables to happen.
  • The functionalities of the project: These include all the external requirements that the project needs to meet. All licensing agreements, compliance management, governance, payment methods, among others, are included in the project scope functionalities.
  • The technical structure of the project:  The technical design of the project can be defined as all the features of the final product or services and all its components. This category aims to create an infrastructure for the project.

Project Scope Management Process

There are six main stages involved in the project scope management process. They are:

  • The planning stage 
  • The requirements stage
  • The project scope definition stage
  • The Work Breakdown Structure stage
  • The scope validation stage
  • The scope control stage

The planning stage

The planning stage is for project teams to create a document that they can refer to throughout the project’s lifespan. This acts as a guide to define and maintain the scope of the project. It should include all the project requirements, the scope statement, deliverables, and the change control process for the project.

The requirements stage

Once the planning stage is complete, project teams need to gather all the stakeholders‘ project requirements, such as budgets, expectations, and more. This is where the stakeholders and project team members discuss realistic deliverables and budgets to ensure there is no project delay.

The project scope definition stage

This stage is where the team defines the scope of the project. The project scope needs to include all parts of the final product and everything that needs to be excluded from the project. This step will help teams work in a more structured manner and avoid unnecessary developments in the project’s life cycle.

The Work Breakdown Structure stage

A Work Breakdown Structure is a document created for assigning tasks and deliverables, along with projected timelines of delivery. Here, the most important tasks can also get prioritized so that the team can work more efficiently.

The scope validation stage

The information and timelines that have been recorded in the previous steps need to be validated by the stakeholders. This is where project managers send their project scope to the stakeholder and get approvals to start working on the development and deployment of the project.

The scope control stage

The scope control stage takes place once the project begins. It includes constant monitoring of the project’s scope to make sure the teams do not deviate from the main objective.

Importance of Project Scope Management 

Project scope management is one of the most efficient ways in which organizations can complete their projects. The process creates a structure to ensure that teams stay on track throughout the project and work together cohesively. Project scope management needs to be completed as a preliminary step in all project planning phases. This way, team members can discuss all the deliverables beforehand, and the project teams are aware of precisely what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. 

Conclusion

There are many benefits to defining and managing the scope of a project. It can help teams avoid unnecessary details and prepare for unforeseen circumstances. Project scope management also helps teams stay on the right track throughout the project. The process allows teams to stick to their deadlines and their budget. Overall, project scope management helps teams understand all the project details before they even begin working on it, which can be of great help through the project’s life cycle.

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