Project scope is significant to the team to frame precisely possible achievable goals and project deliverables. It ensures the project lies within the financial budget and available resources. Requiring details on present availability and future requirements, it is important to draft the project scope statement with proper care. We provide a better outlook into the statement of work along with a template and example.

What is Project Scope?

Project scope ensures the possibility of achieving the goals and objectives based on the availability of all the relevant people and resources required to carry out the project. It is defined in association with project stakeholders to decide the deadlines, goals, and other things. 

What is a Project Scope Statement?

A project scope statement, often known as a statement of work, contains executions, constraints, assumptions, and milestones. It is the document to be considered while planning and measuring the project's success. Based on facts, documentation, strategies, procedures, and agreement by the company and stakeholders, change requests can be reviewed and practiced accordingly. 

What is Scope Creep?

Scope creep is the additional expectations and delivery required from the organization. Sudden addition to the tasks overloads the members and delays the delivery, causing inconvenience to everyone involved. The scope creep can be avoided by developing a project statement and managing the additions later accordingly. The project scope statement will act as proof. 

Importance of Project Scope Statement

A few significant experiences by the company through the development of the project scope statement are

  1. Understanding the project in detail and its connection with the company's goals
  2. Ensuring the availability of resources as required by the project
  3. Completing the deliveries on time with efficacy
  4. Effortless coworking on the project

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What is Included in the Project Scope Statement?

The project scope statement is divided into eight sections:

Product Scope Description

It contains every detail related to the product. It includes goals and objectives, which further include the breakdown of steps into smaller tasks that lead to the achievement of the target. The product scope description will also contain project constraints, scope baseline, and other relevant data. 

Product Acceptance Criteria

The customers' criteria permit the product's use. It defines customers' expectations for the product and its intended application by the customer. 

Project Deliverables

It states the output components of the project. Project deliverables vary based on the department and product required, as it can be software, documents, product, and other things. 

 Project Exclusions

It states the particulars that are outside the project scope. The company can leave these out in delivering the project. For example, application updates may be a part of the next project. So, the company won't work on this currently. 

Project Constraints

Clear indications of resources that are lacking and may hamper the project output or elements that need separate attention. It can include cost, time, resources, methods, scope, and more.

Project Assumptions 

It includes the availability of the resources based on the requirement or possibility of occurrence of an event when needed. 

Milestones 

These are the project phases wherein important results or outputs are to be witnessed.

Agreement

The mutual decision between the organization and stakeholders concerning the quality, benefits, risks, costs, and other components related to the project. 

The Benefits of Defining Your Project Scope Early

Several advantages linked to the early development of project scope are

  1. Prior and clear information on the expectations of stakeholders
  2. Eventually, no possibility of scope creeps
  3. Change requests can be reviewed and approved accordingly
  4. Efficient planning and management of resources
  5. Easy alignment of project to objectives of the company

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8 Key Steps to Developing a Project Scope Statement

Project scope statement development should be broken down into eight points before starting the statement:

1. Start With Your Project Objectives

First, understand the aims and requirements of the project, along with its outline and goals. 

2. Make a Resource Plan if You Haven’t Already

Now, based on the type of project, the resource requirement varies in each term; for instance, budgets, the number of individuals and teams, and others having an idea beforehand help develop the statement. 

3. Collect Any Additional Project Requirements

It should include all the details yet to be included in the project scope. These things hold the potential to affect project completion and require attention. 

4. Draft Your Project Scope Statement

So, all the points collected above need to be drafted to form the project scope statement. It will indicate each small task, the reason for taking the project, the expected outcome, constraints and resources available and assumed, deadlines to be achieved, and exact things to be performed and accomplished.

Example Project Scope Statement

Here is a template for the project scope statement

Section I

Project name

Author

Group

Date Started

Section II

Background to the proposed work

Objectives

Scope

Deliverables

Business benefits

Assumptions

Constraints

Risks

Other areas of business affected

Major dependencies

Stakeholders

Resources

5. Get Buy-in and Approval From Key Stakeholders

The next step is to review the project scope statement and look into possible changes. Negotiate them and get them approved. The changes may be in terms of goals, deadlines, and deliverables. It won't be possible to change them later; hence, reviewing them here is important. 

6. Establish a Change Control Process if Necessary

Necessary changes can be required at any time in the project. However, their necessity and addition should be submitted and judged by an already set criterion and approved by stakeholders. It is important to ensure room for change while devising the scope and plan of project progress. The change control process should be such that important additions are possible, and scope creep can be challenging. 

7. Share Your Project Scope Statement With the Team

Once the organization and stakeholders have mutually agreed upon the project scope statement, it should be shared with all the members for transparency and ease of access. 

8. Refer Back to Your Project Scope Statement During the Project

The project scope statement acts as a reference for when the project is in progress. It can assess the project timeline and check the change requirements and possible additions. 

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Example of Project Scope Statement

Let us take an example of the product scope statement for developing a laptop.

Product Scope Description

Mobile phones are handy devices required 24*7. The most important quality looked for is good battery life, while the preferred ones should possess quality cameras and storage. With an unbreakable touch screen, getting all these features in a phone is difficult at an affordable price. Thus, a phone with mentioned features can be a good seller. 

Acceptance Criteria

  1. The phone should have battery usage for at least 24 hours. 
  2. Low servicing charges
  3. Quality camera, touch, HD screen clarity, the strong screen on falling of device
  4. Speed and good quality processor
  5. Fast charging mode
  6. Storage

Deliverables

  1. One phone
  2. One charger
  3. Sim tray
  4. Sim tray key

Project Exclusions

  1. Earphones
  2. Sim card
  3. Memory card holder

Constraints

  1. Budget
  2. Time limitations
  3. Software delivery time

Assumptions

  1. Hardware will be available
  2. Staff will be permanent and available when needed
  3. Advance payment

Pros and Cons of Project Scope Statement

Several pros and cons associated with the project scope statement are as follows-

Pros

  1. The clarity in detailed statements avoids the possibility of scope creep
  2. Communicates well with stakeholders and members of the project about expectations
  3. Open information on constraints and risks

Cons

  1. The development process for the statement of work is lengthy and requires research. It may not be compatible with small projects and businesses
  2. It is better for constant projects. Continuously changing requirements won't be possible.

Project Charter Vs Project Scope Statement

The project charter has high-level details, while the project scope statement deals with every minute detail. The former mostly stays the same, while the latter is updated frequently. The project scope statement contains a description, acceptance criteria, exclusions, and deliverables. In comparison, the project charter contains project objectives, high-level descriptions and requirements, key risks, exit criteria, and other key details. 

Project Scope Statement vs. Scope of Work

The project Scope Statement is detailed with clear expectations on the project plan and the project. The scope of work contains the work agreement, including results, project timeline, milestones, and progress reports. 

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Project Scope Statement vs. Project Scope Management Plan

Again, a project scope statement plan is a detailed document stating methods and processes of finishing the project. The Project Scope Management plan is based on the project scope statement, tracks phases to prevent scope creep, and helps in audits to close the project.

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Conclusion

To summarize, the project scope statement involves highlighting the important details of the project to maintain transparency on expectations for both stakeholders and members. The deliverables and timelines can also be tracked, facilitating the possibility of changes and addition to the project. 

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About the Author

Eshna VermaEshna Verma

Eshna writes on PMP, PRINCE2, ITIL, ITSM, & Ethical Hacking. She has done her Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication and is a Gold Medalist in the same. A voracious reader, she has penned several articles in leading national newspapers like TOI, HT, and The Telegraph. She loves travelling and photography.

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  • *According to Simplilearn survey conducted and subject to terms & conditions with Ernst & Young LLP (EY) as Process Advisors