10 Steps to Writing a Project Scope Management Plan

Editorial Team

The success and failure of a project largely depend on the scope. If you are not keeping tabs of the project scope, your project can slip out of control. It messes up the project schedule and has a poor impact on your budget. This leads to project failure.

Project scope defines project goals and objectives and how the processes run. That’s where a project scope management plan comes in. A project scope management plan helps you list the goals, deliverables, requires resources, and all the other significant parameters of the project. Project scope ensures that there is a systematic mechanism to incorporate changes. This helps fulfill new requirements without putting any strain on the budget, schedule, and deadlines.

Project scope management plan is a solid and comprehensive plan to make sure that the project runs smoothly, changes are included flexibly, and deliverables meet respective deadlines. Here’s how to write an effective project scope management plan in 11 steps:

1. Study Project Charter and Project Management Plan

As you need to begin somewhere, nothing is better than reviewing the project core documents. These mainly include project charter and the project management plan.

Project Charter

Project charter identifies statements of objectives, stakeholders, project goals, and roles and responsibilities of each team member. It acts as a proper framework to guide through the scope management plan. It includes key descriptions of the project as well as the characteristics of the product that is being created.

Project Management Plan

A project management plan is a project schedule that enlists all the tasks of the project. It acts as a baseline that shows the significance of formulating a scope management plan.

The project management plan includes several other helpful documents, such as a quality management plan, project life cycle description, and development approach. Reviewing these documents allows you to establish a sound basis for scope management.

2. Consider Enterprise Environmental Factors

Enterprise environmental factors need to be taken into account when planning the most important processes of the project. As scope management is one of them, enterprise environmental factors can make or break this plan. The most crucial enterprise environmental factors to consider are:

  • Organization’s work culture i.e., formal, informal, mixed, or productive.
  • Infrastructure, available resources such as tools and equipment
  • Personnel to judge expertise, training, and capabilities
  • Marketplace conditions to study the market growth, competitors, and intensity of competition.

Once the project manager considers all of these factors, he is in a good position to define and create an effective scope management plan.

3. Conduct Meetings

The next step is to hold meetings with the project team, project sponsors, and stakeholders. Regular meetings allow you to identify loopholes and project constraints. Also, it offers an opportunity to discuss the aspects related to the scope management plan.

Get Help from the Expert Judgement

Whenever you conduct a meeting to look into project scope management, make sure you invite subject matter experts. These include stakeholders and other project-related experts from the industry. The expert judgment allows better insight into project processes, and you get a good idea of how to streamline the project through better scope management.

Gather and Analyze the Data

Data analysis is a handy technique when writing down a scope management plan. Implementing various data analysis techniques helps you collect the project requirements, create a great product, and control the overall project scope.

Look into Stakeholder Requirements

Considering stakeholder requirements is another important thing to do during meetings. If you so prefer, you can hold meetings with stakeholders separately to identify and prioritize the requirements.

Missing a minor requirement can turn the project upside down. Therefore, look into the requirements carefully, no matter the magnitude and significance. Various techniques, such as Requirements Traceability Matrix can be really helpful.

4. Write Down the Scope Statement

The scope statement is the detailed listing of project goals, objectives, assumptions, and constraints. It basically defines your entire project. The scope statement acts as the foundation and is the core component of a scope management plan.

The scope statement mentions what is going to be part of the project and what is not. It is not possible to include every nut and bolt of the project; however, spending some good time on the scope statement is always a great idea. It has to be detailed and comprehensive to include requirements, judge the results, and reduce the risk of any changes.

5. Design a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

The next step is to design a work breakdown structure, commonly known as WBS. In its most basic form, it is a simple list of the project task, resources, and deadlines. 

But, you must know that EBS acts as the project guide and schedule. Therefore, it is best to have a detailed mention of project activities and division of tasks according to their priority, project schedule, and allocated resources.

The resources include equipment, tools, costs, human resource, and required hours. There are several different formats to create WBS. You can either use graphical representation or tabular form to create and represent WBS. The structure of WBS varies from project to project. Usually, the structure is based on the categorization and sub-categorization of tasks.

Related Articles:

  1. 9 Steps to Writing a Project Time Management Plan
  2. 7 Steps to Writing a Project Cost Management Plan
  3. 6 Steps To Writing a Project Stakeholder Management Plan
  4. 10 Steps to Writing a Project Procurement Management Plan
  5. 8 Steps to Writing a Project Quality Management Plan
  6. 8 Steps to Writing a Project Communication Management Plan
  7. 7 Steps to Writing a Project Resource Management Plan

6. Develop Maintenance and Approval Process for WBS

Creating WBS alone is not enough. The scope management plan includes a proper mechanism for the approval and maintenance of WBS.

Approval of WBS depends on the project manager but, more significantly, stakeholders. Figure out how the WBS will be approved. Is it going to be in a meeting, an email, or over a video conference? For quick approval, make sure you have focused on all the stakeholders’ requirements and have incorporated desired changes.

When it comes to maintenance, the best way to maintain WBS is to create a WBS dictionary, which includes the minimum yet significant amount of information such as task code, task description, and responsible sector or individuals.

If you want more comprehensive and effective maintenance, you can include other information such as start date, end date, budget, deliverable, and required resources.

7. Determine Roles and Responsibilities of Project Team

The scope management plan includes a detailed mention of all the individuals’ roles and responsibilities directly or indirectly linked to the project. It includes your organization’s manager, HR manager, project manager, development team, technical experts, engineer, and every other concerned individual.

Although roles and responsibilities are determined before the beginning of the project, they might be subjected to change if there is any change in the project scope. Therefore, they are a significant part of the scope management plan.

8. Identify Your Deliverables

The next step and component of the scope management plan are deliverables. Once you are done with creating WBS and assigning roles and responsibilities, it is now easier to identify your deliverables.

Deliverables include physical tasks such as building the software, product design, and product report, and so on. Sometimes, deliverables are non-physical such as improvement of the design, etc. No matter the nature of deliverables, each deliverable must be identified as part of the scope management plan.

9. Gather Feedback and Incorporate Changes

As you complete a project deliverable, you need to offer it to the stakeholders and gather feedback so that the changes are incorporated right away. To do this, there has to be a process. Following a proper process, you can be satisfied that your deliverable is formally accepted. 

The feedback also helps in making improvements in the other similar deliverables before they are completed and delivered.

10. Establish Scope Control Mechanism

Scope control is the most significant aspect of scope management. Therefore, you need to establish an effective scope control mechanism. As you design the scope control process, your scope management plan is about to complete.

Scope control means the project manager will not have to face scope creep. You need to ensure that no unauthorized task is added to the project as it can be really toxic. There has to be a proper mechanism that looks into new processes and examines changes done to the project. Scope control procedures allow efficient and effective communication and incorporation of the changes.

Final Thoughts

A project scope management plan is one of the basic plans for any project. With the help of a scope management plan, the project manager can track the project progress and manage the tasks effectively. Scope management ensures that all the stakeholder requirements are met, feedback is collected, and changes incorporated.

As you follow the steps mentioned above, you will end up with a smooth and flexible scope management plan, no matter the type of project.