Scope Development

The first step is to establish the scope of the project.

Method Goals:

  • Shared understanding and buy-in to value and achievability across project team and stakeholders
  • WBS provides structured model to think through what is required and identify everything required.
  • Early look at skill-set and resources required
  • Limits future changes
  • Proof of what is required to achieve the project purpose (time, staff, etc) and check on organizational capacity (negative impact or trade-off) stage-gate.
  • Essential for successful project design

 During Project Design, the work of developing the work-breakdown structure is critical:

  • By creating the task list, the project scope is established.
  • By verifying it, we ensure that the tasks identified, if executed successfully (meet acceptance criteria), will achieve the project purpose

 A Facilitated Process to Document: 

  • What is in or out of scope
    • How to decide
    • Clearly define what is essential to meet project purpose (Charter)
    • High level at first, progressive elaboration, time limit?
    • Match to level of stakeholder(s)
    • Decision framework based on criteria previously agreed to (company goals, project objectives, purpose, mission, budget, MVP, etc)
  • How much detail in scope statement?
    • High level Work Packages? Decompose to subsystem level?
    • Labor-time estimates (can they be confidently estimated?)
    • Requirements level?
    • Understanding of how requirements process will proceed to clarify potentially soft requirements (Behavioral Analysis)
  • Out-of-scope become future features/goals that are ranked by priority and characterized by effort/cost (product backlog)
  • Availability of essential resources (Is it plausible to achieve the objective in the expected time period with the resources available)?
    • Staff  and competencies
    • Facilities
    • Technologies
    • Time
    • Budget
    • Sufficient information (gaps identified)
  • Major risks?
    • Organization tolerance
    • Contract or legal constraints
  • Acceptance criteria-(How do we know we have delivered everything required and only what is within scope?)
    • WBS task verification
    • Critical success factors
    • KPI’s
    • Quality definition
    • Major milestones
  • Agreement with stakeholders on how to manage change? Approval process, timebox
    • Change (possible) vs. Scope Creep (no) understanding
  • Formal document of decisions, stakeholder trace, assumptions and other components of Project Scope Statement
    • Project Scope Statement format/template (deliverable)