Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Project Scope Statement is more than just a statement

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a statement as “a single declaration or remark”. The project scope statement includes more detail than our proverbial understanding of a statement as a single remark.

The project scope statement identifies all of the project’s deliverables and defines the work required to create the deliverables. In other words, it creates a common understanding of what needs to be achieved by all stakeholders and creates a framework for proposed changes to be effected within the project boundaries, to eliminate nice to haves from creeping into the project.

Often, careful and thoughtful consideration in the composition of the project scope statement is neglected, resulting in detrimental results to project budget, schedule, quality, and customer expectations, as the project advances.

Considerations for a project scope statement:

Project Objectives - Quantifiable goals that defines the project’s appropriateness to the project customer and the overall success of the project. Objectives must be detailed, quantifiable, aggressive, realistic, and time-sensitive.

Product Scope description – Describes what deliverables the project is creating. The product scope description is a work in progress as it starts off vague and is updated as the project work develops.

Project Requirements – Sets the parameters under which the project will operate and determines the acceptability criteria against which the deliverables are measured. These parameters are established by the customer and the performing organization.
Project Boundaries – Project boundaries establishes what is included in the project and what is excluded from it. Strict adherence to existing project boundaries leaves no room to engage in extra work that does not form part of the project scope.

Project Deliverables – These are all the things the project will create. But hang on, it does not only include the product it will create, but also all the documentation and documented experiences which can be used for future reference on similar projects.

Product Acceptance Criteria – It includes a list of requirements inclusive of the customer’s expectations that must be satisfied prior to acceptance of the completed product.

Project Constraints – Careful thought must to be put into identifying anything that will limit the project from successful completion. Constraints can include anything from a predetermined budget, available resources and materials, imposed dates, and contract conditions.

These are but some elements to consider for inclusion in the project scope description. From your perspective, do you think all of these are necessary?

Written by Hylton Ferreira.

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