Project Scope Management
Project Scope Management is a knowledge area aimed at ensuring that a project includes all necessary things for its completion as already described. It is also how things are in or not in a plan get managed. It is highly essential that the scope of the whole project be defined and managed effectively because the activities involved involve the consumption of a lot of resources to different magnitudes. Any alteration in the range could potentially hurt the project at large in terms of time taken to come to completion and cost. It could also cause a souring of the relationship between the teams involved in the project. Thus, it should always be defined at the very start of the project. For instance, if a constructor tasked with constructing a railway line through some settlements decides to add cutting and falling of trees to a later date in his scope of the project. The difficulty is bound to arise as a result of its initial omission.
Excellent project management should cater to both internal and external potential influences. The internal factor is made up of the project team members such as the workers, engineers, and analysts who are all under the authority of the project manager. They sometimes change the project scope in the name of satisfying or impressing the manager by delivering extra or superior quality results than was planned for. “Gold plating” as it is called, increases risks involved and the execution cost beyond budget. The other is the external influence which is always from the major players in the project, the sponsors and the end users. They cause a situation called “Scope Creep” using the “Requested change” route to input features that were not in the original project statement. It usually occurs when a new system becomes available, they sense its potentials and decides to implement it in a project already progressing, thinking it will create a better solution without increasing the risk or adding to the cost. It is the cause of many project failures considering the additional resources needed in implementing the improvements. Thus project managers should watch out for stakeholders who through the back door try to enlarge the project.
Project Scope Management Processes
Various processes involved in project management are explained below.
1. Plan the management
Here, a project management plan is created defining, validating and controlling the project so that it can be managed for the entirety of the project. Some of the input, tools, and techniques and, outputs are project management plan, expert judgment and management plan respectively.
2. Collect Requirement
The process of accessing, managing and documenting stakeholder’s requisite to realize project objectives. Since it will be expensive to make any changes to a project already in progress, it is advantageous to gather requirements at the very beginning of the project. The condition should also be collected from stakeholders to be able to consider their opinions. This will increase the chances of the project being generally accepted by the stakeholders. Analyzing the project management, project charter, requirements management plan, and stakeholder register is an excellent place to start developing requirements. Examples of the input, tools or technique and the output are scope plan, interviews, requirements documentation.
3. Define Scope
A comprehensive depiction of the project and its deliverables is made by using a management plan, requirements documentation, and project charter. High-level requirements are delineated into a more detailed specification. Translated deliverables can potentially add to risk, constraints, an assumptions which in turn influence project. Scope management, Expert judgment, and project scope statement are the respective input, tool and technique and, outputs.
4. Create Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
To have an efficient project scope management, the project scope statement is broken down to more manageable deliverables. It then identifies the minor and significant activities required of a project. It can also be seen as a graphical representation of the project structure used in communicating the plan to the management or stakeholders. It highlights how work is to be done and how data and cost should be summarily reported and compared against the budget. The scope management plan, decomposition, and scope updates are some of the input, tool and techniques and, output respectively
5. Validate Scope
Deliverables already checked internally for its quality whether they meet clients’ requirements, are presented to the clients for formal acceptance. Scope validation is concerned with the approval of the definition of deliverables thereby distinguishing it from quality control. If the deliverable is accepted the project proceeds, else it is terminated. Inspection and ethical decision making are the tools and techniques used respectively.
6. Control the Scope
Changes inevitably made to the scope baseline is efficiently managed to ensure that they do not accumulate on the project. This build-up in changes is also known as “scope creep.” When a scope is said to be controlled, it means that changes to its baselines are managed appropriately.
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