Planning For Managing Scope

plan scope management
You would have noticed that Scope management processes have two distinct words – requirements and scope – as in Collect Requirements and Define Scope.

What is the difference between requirements and scope?

While there is a short lesson on this for now think of it as ‘business requirements’ and ‘project scope’.

Does it make sense?

Well, Requirements are capabilities that are required to be present in the product, service or result that project is supposed to produce in order to satisfy a formal agreement (which could be a Contract). Whereas Scope is the sum of product, service or result to be provided by the project.

In short, requirement is outward facing – specified by customer/business; and scope is inward facing – to be provided by the project. You understand customer’s business requirements and turn them into project scope.

That is why after collecting requirements we define the scope of the project.

Planning for managing scope involves creating a plan that outlines how scope is to be defined, controlled and managed throughout the project.

You would need project management plan (with their subsidiary plans) and Project charter (contains high-level business needs giving you some sort of context to help come up with scope creation and management plan). Apart from these you can make use of available templates from older similar projects in the company.

One of the ways to create this plan is involving expertise of others in the organization, or outside the organization. These people have the necessary knowledge, experience and foresight to guide you about the approach. You would meet with senior team members, project sponsor, people from Project Management Office (PMO) and customer will help understand more about product and project scope, the challenges involved in collecting and managing them.

In this project management activity, you would typically create plans to manage scope and to manage requirements.
This describes the approach to defining detailed scope, creating work breakdown structure, and from there identifying activities, identifying dependencies between them, and creating schedule and also the techniques to control schedule.
Requirements management plan is the other output.

What is Requirements Management Plan?
It is important to outline which of the tools and techniques are used for the current project to collect business requirements. It is also necessary to outline how they these requirements are documented, analyzed and how changes are authorized, managed and communicated to stakeholders throughout the project.

If project is planned to be performed in phases as discussed in an earlier lesson, the relationship between phases also determines how requirements are managed. The level of detailing to be done upfront might be less if phases are iterative than if phases are sequential.

All this information is captured in a document called requirements management plan. This document also captures the process by which requirements are prioritized, and traced to deliverables.

Before we move onto the next process in Scope management knowledge area, let us look at two possibilities you should guard against that is going to help you manage scope much better!

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