Project Management

The Six Elements of Successful Project Scope Management

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Profitable projects rely on understanding and sticking to the project scope that has been agreed to and signed off by a services business and a client. This includes all deliverables, revisions, and due dates, ensuring that clients receive what they paid for and the company does not provide free work. However, even a project with a well-defined project scope can experience scope creep without detailed and diligent project scope management.

What Makes A Good Scope Management Plan?

In order to meet a project’s deliverables, it is vital that a project manager and his or her team effectively manage all aspects of the project scope from start to finish. Project Scope Management involves six steps that each include specific inputs, tools, and techniques to create a scope management plan.

1. Planning Scope Management - A scope management plan is developed to provide guidance for the project as a whole. The plan outlines how a project will be defined as well as how it will be validated and controlled. The Project Charter, which is a short formal document that describes the project in its entirety, and the Project Management Plan are used as inputs to create the Scope Management Plan.

2. Collecting Requirements - Accurately meeting project goals requires a manager and his or her project team to identify, document, and manage project and business requirements, which are conditions that must be completed to ensure that the project can be deemed a success, such as delivering the completed project by the agreed-upon due date. Similar to step 1, the Project Charter and Project Management Plan are used as inputs as well.

3. Defining the Scope of Your Project - This step involves defining what is and is not within the project scope. This will provide the foundation that guides all tasks and project activities by determining deliverables, quality, schedule, costs, and much more. All of the project parameters are outlined in this document. Inputs for defining the project scope include the Project Charter, Project Management Plan, and Scope Management Plan.

4. Creating a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) - To effectively manage a project and its deliverables, all project work is divided into smaller and more manageable components, referred to as a Work Breakdown Structure. Inputs for the WBS include the Project Management Plan and Scope Management Plan so that project managers can be assured that all scheduled tasks fall within the appropriate scope of work.

5. Validating Project Scope - Knowing whether your project is on the right track means being able to validate project scope by being able to formally accept deliverables. Inputs for validating scope include the Project Management Plan, Scope Management Plan, and Requirements Management Plan.

6. Controlling Project Scope - Being able to control the scope of your project and avoid scope creep means you must stay on top of any and all changes that might impact the quality of the deliverables, project costs, and delivery timeline. There are multiple essential inputs required to effectively control project scope, including Project Management Plan, Scope Management Plan, and Requirements Management Plan. A Change Management Plan will be critical should the project scope need to be altered for any reason.

Developing a solid Statement of Work and Scope of Work, as well as an effective project scope plan, requires that you understand your client’s needs and incorporate key elements such as the nature of work, participant names and roles, deliverables, timelines, success criteria, terms, and assumptions. Together, these elements of successful project management can help your business provide projects that are not only high quality, but profitable.

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