What is Project Scope Management?

Project scope management refers to all the work involved in creating the deliverables of the project and the processes used to create them. Scope scope management processes ensure that the project includes all the tasks required to complete the project successfully. Primarily the project scope concerned with defining and controlling, what is included and what is not.

Project Scope Management Refer to:

Product Scope:

To understand what is project scope management, we describe product scope, which describes the product to be delivered –”what does the customer wants you to produce with the project?” The deliverables are products such as a new system, a new car, a new process, etc. Completion of the product is measured against product requirements that define the features or functions of the products.

Project Scope:

Project scope describes the work required to produce the project deliverables. The deliverables can be meetings, reports, analysis, design documents, etc. and all the parts of the agile project management or project management that become part of the scope management plan. Completion is measured against the project scope management plan that is a subsidiary to the project management plan.

Project Scope Management Example:

The client comes and asks you to construct a school building for him. He gave you his requirements like what would be the size of the school building, how many rooms it will have, size of the playground, number of toilets, color of painting, when he needs it, etc. You take the project and start working on it. You make the plan, create the schedule, and estimate the budget.

Subsequently, you move on to the execution part. You bring workers to the site and start constructing the school building. You complete the project and verify with client that the school building is as per his requirements. Then you hand over the school building to the client, get the payment, and the project is closed.

In the above example, there are two parts: In the first part client asks you to make a school building for him and gives you his requirements (characteristics). This school building is the Product and the requirements for this product are known as Scope. Therefore, in the first part, what he gave you is the Product Scope. In the second part, you work to construct the school building within the given time, and budget, meeting all the client’s requirements by following the project management plans. Lastly, you deliver it to the client. In this part, what you have done to construct the school building, is the Project Scope.

Defining project scope is critical to the success of the project since it spells out exactly what the product or service of the project looks like. Conversely, poor scope definition, while finding what is project scope management, might lead to cost increases, rework, schedule delays, and poor morale.

project scope management

Project Scope Management Processes:

Project Scope Collection Requirements:

Collect Requirements is the first process in the Project Scope Management Knowledge Area. The purpose of the Project Scope Management is to describe and control what is and what is not work of the project. This is the first process where we get into the meat of the Planning processes and get down to defining what the final product or service of the project looks like—thus we’re starting off defining what is included in the work of the project.

Requirements are typically conditions that must be met or criteria that the product or service of the project must possess in order to satisfy the objectives of the project. Requirements quantify and prioritize the wants, needs, and expectations of the project sponsor and stakeholders. The primary purpose of the Collect Requirements process is to define and document the project sponsor, the customer, and the stakeholder’s expectations and needs for meeting the project objective, as explained in the first para of the lecture what is project scope management. Recording the requirements and attaining stakeholder approval of the requirements will help you define and manage their expectations throughout the project.

Inputs of Collect Requirements:

Scope Management Plan:

The scope management plan provides clarity as to how project teams will determine which type of requirements need to be collected for the project.

Stakeholder Management Plan:

The stakeholder management plan is used to understand stakeholder communication requirements and the level of stakeholder engagement in order to assess and adapt to the level of stakeholder participation in requirements activities.

Stakeholder Register:

The stakeholder register is used to identify stakeholders who can provide information on the requirements. The stakeholder register also captures major requirements and main expectations stakeholders may have for the project.

project scope

Scope Management Tools and Techniques:

There are several tools and techniques in this process you can use to help identify the requirements of the project. The following tools and techniques are used for Collect Requirements:


Interviews are typically one-on-one conversations with stakeholders. Interviews can be formal or informal and generally consist of questions prepared ahead of time. The advantages to this tool are that subject matter experts and experienced project participants can impart a lot of information in a short amount of time and typically have a good understanding of the features and functions needed from the project deliverables. You should record the responses during the interviews and don’t be afraid to ask spontaneous questions as they occur to you during the interview.

Focus groups:

Focus groups are usually conducted by a trained moderator. The key to this tool lies in picking the subject matter experts and stakeholders to participate in the focus group.

Facilitated workshops:

Cross-functional stakeholders come together in a facilitated work- shop to discuss and define requirements that affect more than one department. For example, if you’re implementing a software package that impacts several business units, you’ll need representatives from each unit together in a workshop so that each of their needs are represented and prioritized. This way of explaining what is project scope management, all the participants understand the various needs and have a facilitated forum to discuss and resolve their issues.

Group creativity techniques:

Group creativity involves several techniques, like brainstorming, Nominal group technique, the Delphi technique, and affinity diagrams. We will cover each of these techniques in either the Risk Planning process or the Plan Quality process.

Idea/mind mapping:

is a group creativity technique where participants first use brainstorming techniques to record their ideas. White boards or flip charts are a great tool to use with this process. The facilitator uses the white board to map ideas and, using a mind-mapping layout, group similar topics together. There are a few mind-mapping software packages available on the market that can greatly assist with this process. Mind mapping allows the participants to get an understanding of common ideas and themes, create new ideas, and understand differences.

Group decision making techniques:

There are many methods groups can use to reach decisions. These methods can also be used with the group creativity techniques. The four methods mentioned include unanimity, where everyone agrees on the resolution or course of action; majority, where more than 50 percent of the members support the resolution; plurality, where the largest subgroup within the group makes the decision if majority is not reached; and dictatorship, where one person makes the decision on behalf of the group.

Questionnaires and surveys:

This technique involves querying a large group of participants via questionnaires or surveys. These tools allow you to gather information quickly and apply statistical analysis, if needed, to the results.


This technique is typically a one-on-one experience where an observer sits side by side with the participant to observe how the participant interacts with the product or service. This technique is also known as job shadowing. For example, you may use this technique to determine requirements for an upgrade to a software product. Sitting with the user and watching their interactions with the product enables the observer to uncover requirements they would not have ordinarily discovered. This technique can also involve participant observers who perform the job themselves in order to ascertain requirements.


Prototyping is a technique involving constructing a working model or mock- up of the final product for participants to experiment with. The prototype does not usually contain all the functionality the end product does, but it gives participants enough information that they can provide feedback regarding the mock-up. This is an iterative process where participants experiment and provide feedback and the prototype is revised and the cycle starts again. Below is one of the best way to explain what is project scope management

scope management

Scope Document:

You’re worked hard to gather and define requirements and you don’t want all that effort going to waste. Now that you’ve employed the tools and techniques of this process to gather requirements, you’ll want to record them in a requirements document. This involves recording the requirements in a requirements document.

The PMBOK® Guide does not dictate the format of this document and acknowledges it can be formal with lots of detail or a simple list categorized by stakeholder and priority. However, it does state that the requirements document may include at least the following elements:

  • Business need for the project and why it was undertaken.
  • Objectives of the project and the business objectives the project hopes to fulfil.
  • Functional requirements.
  • Non-functional requirement.
  • Quality requirements.
  • Acceptance criteria.
  • Organizational areas and outside entities impacted.
  • Support and training requirements.
  • Assumptions and constraints.

One of the most important elements of the requirements document that isn’t in the preceding list is the signatures of the key stakeholders indicating their acceptance of the requirements. Stakeholders sometimes have short memories, particularly on long-term projects, so documenting requirements and obtaining their approval is essential for project success.

Note: This lectures on, what is project scope management?, is designed by Academy for International Modern Studies, and it is a part of CPM certification covered during project management certification and master project management online programs, offered by AIMS.

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