A project manager oversees that the project is conducted successfully from the planning stage to the completion stage without any problems. This includes making sure that the project scope is according to the requirements of the stakeholders. Also, the project delivered is within the estimated time and does not exceed the budget.
However, if the project scope is not defined clearly, there is a chance of project failure. Project managers are aware of scope creep and its adverse effects on the end results. Thus, having a well-defined project scope statement will ensure that any changes in the project scope are documented (Scope Management Plan) properly.
The project scope statement is an essential element of a project as it defines the scope of the project along with the results the project will provide, and the constraints associated with the project. It is prepared by the project manager and acts as the primary guideline for the project management team and the stakeholders.
What is a Project Scope Statement?
A project scope statement is a written confirmation of the scope of the project including the project objectives, assumptions, constraints, and deliverables. It is usually prepared by the project manager and includes a list of the stakeholders who are involved in the project. The scope statement is agreed upon by both the people who requested the project as well as the project team who will deliver the project before beginning the project.
The project scope statement should not be confused with the Scope of Work (SOW). The scope of work is an agreement of work between the consultant and the client that details the project itself. This does not describe the plan of action that the project team needs to follow. It is done by the project scope statement by detailing and mapping out the results of the project plan and the project.
The project scope statement is followed by the project management plan that details the project from start to finish. It describes the objectives of the project including the budget and schedule of the project. A project management plan is a more detailed outline of the various tasks that need to be completed over the project development cycle. The project scope statement is not as detailed as the project management plan.
What does a Project Scope Statement include?
A good project scope statement must include the following seven information:
- Justification – This includes a brief statement regarding the business requirement that will be addressed by conducting the project. All projects must serve a purpose. By justifying the purpose of the project, businesses can then start meeting the requirement or need.
- Scope Description – The description of the scope includes the characteristics of the product and services that will be provided at the end of the completion of the project. This helps in managing the expectation of the stakeholders as well.
- Business objectives – This aims at defining the objectives of the business that will be fulfilled after the completion of the project. It can include the target audience the business aims to reach and the market that it aims to get involved in for growth and profit.
- Deliverables – These include the results the project management team needs to produce to meet the business objectives. Project deliverables can be the product or service itself that the project will deliver, instructions and installation manuals, marketing materials, advertising campaigns, press releases, etc.
- Exclusions – Just like the deliverables of the project, project exclusions need to be defined clearly. This includes what the project does not aim to accomplish or produce.
- Constraints – These are the limitations or restrictions that will affect the results of the project. Schedule, budget, and scope are the top three constraints of a project. However, there are many other constraints like human resources, risks, customer expectations, and many more that might affect the project.
- Assumptions – These are statements that will describe how to address the constraints that are described for the project including how they will be dealt with to produce the desired results.
A well-written Project Scope Statement is an important aspect for defining the project scope and effectively managing the expectations of the stakeholders involved. Including the seven key pieces of information in the project scope statement will help stakeholders understand the project objectives. They can either accept the scope statement and reject it according to their requirement or need.
The project scope statement is the first step towards successfully conducting a project. Predicting the future of the project is impossible but clearly defining the various aspects of the project through these seven statements can make it possible. Therefore, professional project managers should carefully prepare the project scope statement and must include the above-mentioned seven information in their scope statement.