Manage Scope

Manage Scope
Overview (5.0.P1)
Scope is the way that you describe the boundaries of the project. It defines what the
project will deliver and what it will not deliver. For larger projects, it can include the
organizations affected, the transactions affected, the data types included, etc.
If you look at the reasons that projects fail, it is usually the result of two problems. Either
the team did not spend enough time defining the work and/or there was a lack of scope
management. Even if the project manager did a good job of defining scope, the hard part
comes in having to manage the project to that agreed-upon scope.
First things first - without proper scope definition in the Define Work step, you have
no chance to manage scope effectively. Evoking the scope change process implies
that a change is outside the scope agreed to in the Project Definition and the more
detailed business requirements. If that scope is fuzzy, or leaves room for
interpretation, the client may say that the change is within scope and the project
manager will find it difficult to make scope management stick.
The purpose of scope change management is to protect the viability of the current,
approved Project Definition and the current, approved business requirements. When the
project was defined, certain assumptions were made as to what the project was going to
produce. These were identified and agreed to in the scope section of the Project
Definition and the more detailed business requirements. If the deliverables change during
the project (and usually this means that the client wants additional items), the estimates
for cost, effort and duration may no longer be valid. If the sponsor agrees to include the
new work into the project scope, the project manager has the right to expect that the
current budget and deadline will be modified (usually increased) to reflect this additional
work. This new estimated cost, effort and duration now become the approved target.
Sometimes the project manager thinks that scope management means having to tell the
client 'no'. That makes the project manager nervous and uncomfortable.
However, the good news is that managing scope is all about getting the sponsor to
make the decisions that will result in changes to project scope.
This is very important. Few clients can see and express every requirement up-front.
Therefore, there are usually changes that need to be introduced during the lifecycle.
These changes may be very necessary for the solution and there may be valid business
reasons why they should be included. The project manager and project team must
recognize when these changes are requested. Then they must follow a predefined scope
change process. This process ultimately brings the appropriate information to the Project
Sponsor and allows the sponsor to decide if the modification should be approved based
on the business value and the impact to the project in terms of cost and schedule.