Clearly defining your project’s scope helps to effectively manage stakeholder expectations and ensures that all of the project’s elements are aligned with the objectives — increasing the chances of success. Here’s what you need to know about defining project scope.
Project scope is a detailed outline of all aspects of a project, including all related activities, resources, timelines, and deliverables, as well as the project’s boundaries. A project scope also outlines key stakeholders, processes, assumptions, and constraints, as well as what the project is about, what is included, and what isn’t. All of this essential information is documented in a scope statement.
The project scope statement is a key document that provides all stakeholders with a clear understanding of why the project was initiated and defines its key goals. Most project scope statements will include these elements.
Properly defining the scope of a project is the key to successfully managing your project. Here are the steps you can follow to define your project scope.
Let’s say you are a project manager defining the scope for a content marketing project. A very simple project scope statement might include the following.
Once the project scope statement is complete and approved, and a project is underway, the project scope will need to be carefully managed to avoid scope creep.
Scope creep refers to a scenario whereby changes occur after the project has been started and the changes are not defined or anticipated within the scope statement. When scope creep occurs, it can negatively impact the project timeline, deliverable quality, resources, budget, and other aspects. Managing the scope of your project can help avoid unwelcome surprises.
In addition to the ongoing review and monitoring of project activities, there are steps that should be undertaken to manage the scope of the project to avoid scope creep.
For more on managing project scope, see “7 tips for containing project scope.”
Developing a solid understanding of a project’s purpose and clearly defining, documenting, and managing your project scope, you can ensure that you are well-positioned to deliver a successful project without having to deal with scope creep.
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