Scope (project management)

Scope (project management)

In project management, the scope of a project is the sum total of all of its products and their requirements or features.Fact|date=March 2008

Sometimes the term scope is used to mean the totality of work needed to complete a project.

In traditional project management, the tools to describe a project's scope (product) are the product breakdown structure and product descriptions. The primary tool to describe a project's scope (work) is the work breakdown structure.

Extreme project management advocates the use of user stories, feature lists and feature cards to describe a project's scope (product-deliverable).

If requirements are not completely defined and described and if there is no effective change control in a project, scope or requirement creep may ensue.

Scope creep management is important for effective project management. Projects are expected to meet strict deadlines with resource restraints, and an unvetted and unapproved change in the scope can affect the success of the project. Scope creep sometimes causes cost overrun.

Scope creep is a term which refers to the incremental expansion of the scope of a project, which may include and introduce more requirements that may not have been a part of the initial planning of the project, while nevertheless failing to adjust schedule and budget. There are two distinct ways to separate scope creep management. The first is business scope creep, and the second is called features (also technology) scope creep. The type of scope creep management is always dependent upon on the people who create the changes.

Business scope creep management occurs when decisions that are made with reference to a project are designed to solve or meet the requirements and needs of the business. Business scope creep changes may be a result of poor requirements definition early in development, or the failure to include the users of the project until the later stage of the systems development life cycle.

Scope management plan is one of the major Scope communication documents. The Project Scope Management Plan documents how the project scope will be defined, managed, controlled, verified and communicated to the project team and stakeholders/customers. It also includes all work required to complete the project. The documents are used to control what is in and out of the scope of the project by the use of a Change Management system. Items deemed out of scope go directly through the change control process and are not automatically added to the project work items. The Project Scope Management plan is included in as one of the sections in the overall Project Management plan. It can be very detailed and formal or loosely framed and informal depending on the communication needs of the project.

Features (Technology) scope creep occurs when the scope creep is introduced by technologists adding features not originally contemplated. "Customer-pleasing scope creep" occurs when the desire to please the customer through additional product features adds more work to the current project rather than to a new project proposal. "Gold-plating scope creep" occurs when technologists augment the original requirements because of a bias toward "technical perfectionism" or because the initial requirements were insufficiently clear or detailed.

See also

*Project management
*Cost overrun

External links

* [ Article identifying the primary causes and solutions for business and technological scope creep management]
* [ Article identifying a number of reasons for the development of scope creep]
* [ Articles on Project Scope Management]

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