Monday, May 14, 2012

Writing a project scope statement

A ``Project Scope Statement`` is more than just a one or two line statement. If`done correctly, it will give a complete overview of the project. Heather Buckley explains:

One of the most important stages of a project is the writing a Scope statement. Getting this right means that you can avoid many problems and help the project flow. Your Scope statement should document as much as possible, as clearly as possible, and should make sure everyone involved is aware of what is expected.

Project Management Scope Statement

Get the project started by writing the
- Project name
- Project character
- Project owner
- Project stakeholders
- Project sponsors

The next step is to clarify the
-Project justification (reason for the project)
-Project requirements
-Project milestones
-Project deliverables

Make a note of anything that may constitute a goal related to the project.
Next, start to work our your project cost estimates – this information should be readily available to everyone who is involved in the project.

Make sure that everything you write is concise and clear starting with the project name. The name should describe what is expected during the life of the project – a well thought-out name also helps provide a vision of where the project is headed.

Next you should prepare a project charter to authorise the project, provide a high level overview and identify the main stakeholders. It should also identify the objectives or goals, and include any constraints on resources or time. The charter will be used as the focal point throughout the project life-cycle.

Project Justification

The project justification needs to be identified because this helps to give overall direction to the project; it should emphasise the final goal and identify a quantifiable measure of success for the end of the project.

Requirements and Deliverables

List the requirements of the project in your Scope statement. These will include objectives that must be met and may include any significant milestones or goals. Objectives need to be clearly identified and quantifiable.

Deliverables are usually associated with identified milestones in the project schedule they must be agreed upon by the project owner as well as the major stakeholders. Some deliverables might be a final product to be provided to the stakeholders. Again be specific, the more clearly you identify the deliverables the less chance there is for scope creep (the deadlines extending gradually but uncontrollably) to occur later on.

Cost Estimates

Try and be as accurate and realistic as possible. It is easy to underestimate and cause the project ot go wildly over budget.

Formal Acceptance Signatures

Once you have compiled all of the documentation in a clear and concise statement, the major stakeholders and the project owner need to sign off on it. A copy of the Scope statement should be provided to everyone involved. This is your chance to clear up any discrepancies and make changes where necessary.

Once the Scope statement is signed off, you now document the original agreement. If things change and the Scope does need to be increased for some reason then another meeting should be held so that signatures should be obtained again.


  • Provide detailed specifics
  • Use clear and concise language throughout
  • Avoid ambiguity
It is worth spending time on your Scope statement, you can save more time in the long run and minimise scope creep. Scope creep is often a significant cause of project failure.

Get your Scope statement right and you are well on your way to delivering a successful project.

1 comment:

  1. Appreciate your write up. helped me with the Scope Statements at right time.