Project Scope Management
What is its significance and what benefits it offers to a project manager
For a project manager, scope knowledge area is very important and PMI (Project Management Institute) also focuses more on it. As you know scope is nothing but what work you need to do and what work you need not do in your project. Look, there is a target set by the customer and as a project manager you need to reach that target. Don’t confuse … here target means output/deliverables. You need to get that deliverables done. There must be some preset features of the deliverable (product scope) and to reach that features you need to perform some work (project scope). Remember that at the inception stage of the project, scope can be limited and as work progresses, it becomes much clearer and accordingly you need to maintain and balance the scope baselines preset in planning stage. PMI very smartly divided the scope knowledge area into five process groups. In scope knowledge area, planning and monitoring process group got impacted only; there is no work in other process groups pertaining to scope management. Let me explain the sub-processes involved in scope management as per PMI:
Planning Process Group
As you know you can get high level product description and project requirements from the project charter. As a project manager, you are not the sufficient individual to do the planning work for your project. You should not do this rather in case if it is viable too. You need to gather the requirements from all identified stakeholders aligning the actual project objectives. This is a process you can do only after identifying the stakeholder (at initiation process group in communication knowledge area). There are some specific procedures through which you can conduct the ‘collect requirement’ process, like brainstorming, facilitated workshops, prototyping, Delphi method, etc. Gathering the pertinent requirement on project objectives from the different stakeholders will create some documentation like requirement traceability matrix, requirement documentation, etc.
After gathering the requirements from the identified stakeholders, a project manager should define the actual work need that is needed to perform and achieve the project objective and also decide what work you need not to do. And this is all about the scope. A project manager should be on high alert while giving a final shape of scope for his/her project. Based on the stakeholder’s requirement information, you need to define the scope accordingly. To make it more accurate; you need to consider all the important points from requirement documentation. Finally, you will be getting your project scope statement.
Create Work Breakdown Structure (WBS):
Work Breakdown Structure is an important sub process for a project manager. As in previous process, you have defined the scope for your project (what work you need to do); now it is ideal time to sub divide those tasks into some manageable level. Remember that the scope could be divided up to a level where some pricing and schedule could be fixed for those tasks so that you can monitor and control those tasks effectively. The lower level of the work breakdown structure is known as work package level and the tools and techniques involved in sub dividing the task is known as decomposition.
It is an important part being done by a project manager during monitoring and controlling stage. When the deliverables are got validated in ‘perform quality control’ it is known as validated deliverables. And these validated deliverables need to be verified by the customer or some senior management personnel to check all the necessary work has been performed as per planning. This process is known as verify scope. It is ongoing process and generally it is done after perform quality control. Sometimes, verify scope and perform quality control can go simultaneously.
It is a part of monitoring and controlling stage. As a project manager you need to maintain and balance the scope baselines always. The customer and other stakeholders are very keen to change the scope on the regular interval. It is your task as a project manager to keep balance with the scope baselines. Remember thousand times while implementing changes in the scope. If you are going to change the scope, the cost and time may change accordingly and can create a problem. So, the best process is to analyze the impact on other constraint as well while changing the scope baselines.