Plan and Scope Management

As you read this article, think about which process group is best associated with setting the scope of a project. What do you think it is?

Once the initiating process group has been completed, the two main outputs, the project charter and preliminary project scope statement are inputs to the planning process group.

The project charter is a document issued by the sponsor that formally authorizes the existence of the project, and this document gives the project manager the authority to act and apply organizational resources to project activities.

The preliminary Project Scope Statement is a high-level review of project scope. It includes major deliverables, scope objectives, constraints and assumptions, and a statement of work. One can use the preliminary project scope statement as a basis for future decision making and a confirmation of stakeholder alignment.

What is the planning process group? The planning process group develops the project management plan, engages in scope planning, details scope definition and creates the work breakdown structure, WBS.

Let's face it, the project management plan is the key document in overall planning, monitoring, and implementing a project. This plan lays out the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the project, at the same time it also communicates this to the stakeholders.

The development of this plan begins right before the scope planning process and is the lead in to determining detailed project scope. Revisions continue throughout the planning process s information continues to come to light.

As one engages in the planning process there are many knowledge areas that are considered. Each of these knowledge areas have a subsidiary plan that needs to be reviewed from the perspective of the project management plan.

The knowledge areas with subsidiary plans are:

  • Scope Management Plan
  • Schedule Management Plan
  • Cost Management Plan
  • Quality Management Plan
  • Process Improvement Plan
  • Staffing Management Plan
  • Communication Management Plan
  • Risk Management Plan
  • Procurement Management Plan

The Project Scope Management plan ascertains how scope will be defined, verified, and controlled. It also defines the process used to develop the detailed scope statement and details how the work breakdown structure will be produced, defined, maintained, and validated. The Project Scope Management Plan established the process that will be followed to control how requests for changes to the detailed project scope state will be handled this process is connected to Integrated Change Control.

Scope Definition is the development of a detailed project scope statement. The detailed project scope statement expands upon the major deliverables, assumptions, and constraints in the preliminary project scope statement.

However, the detailed project scope statement has some granular project information. So key points to include are:

  • Project Objectives
  • Product Scope Description
  • Project Requirements
  • Project Boundaries
  • Project Deliverables
  • Product Acceptance Criteria
  • Project Constraints and Assumptions
  • Initial Project Organization
  • Initial Defined Risks
  • Schedule and Cost Factors

Finally, let's review the creation of the work breakdown structure. First, analyze the detailed Scope Statement. List the project's major deliverables and then determine the work required to produce those deliverables. Divide the work into activities and decompose those activities into work packages. The work packages represent the portions of work that are small enough for you to accurately estimate cost and schedule. A final QA check is to verify that the lower-level WBS components are sufficient and needed to complete the corresponding higher-level deliverables.

So to start with you would have at least three levels of the work breakdown structure.

  1. Identify a major deliverable for the project.
  2. Break down the deliverable into activities.
  3. Decompose activities into work packages

The Create WBS process lays the groundwork for every other planning process that follows, including:

  • Activity Definition
  • Activity Resource Estimating
  • Cost Estimating
  • Cost Budgeting
  • Risk Management Planning
  • Human Resource Planning
  • Quality Planning
  • Communications Planning
  • Plan Purchases & Acquisitions

After you have completed the WBS, it is a really good idea to create an accompanying WBS Dictionary. This provides a description of each of the elements and is helpful for those jargon centered organizations like healthcare where one term can mean seven different things. Another output of the creation of the work breakdown structure is the project's scope baseline.

Source: Elyse Nielsen,
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 1.0 License.

Last modified: Tuesday, May 16, 2023, 2:51 PM