Project Scope Management: Step by Step Implementation Guide

Editorial Team

Project Scope Management is one of the important areas of knowledge of project management according to PMBOK methodology from project Management Institute (PMI). It ensures that the project includes all the required and just the required work. It works to remove any unneeded activity or unnecessary process that is being implemented in the project.

Project Scope Management helps in identifying the scope of the project and makes the project effective and efficient. Managing the scope of the project takes into account two major things: defining and controlling the important elements of the project.

Project Scope Management undergoes six main processes: Planning the scope management, collecting the requirements, defining the project scope, creating WBS, validating the scope, and controlling the scope.

In order to ensure that all of these processes are run smoothly and step by step, following are the main steps that help in implementing project scope management for your project:

1. Analyze Current Project Documents

In order to create a scope management plan, it is important to analyze the current project documents. Analyzing the project documents help in coming up with any desired changes that can help in better scope management.

Project Charter

Project Charter is the first and foremost project document that goes through a detailed analysis. Its information is divided into bits and pieces and is analyzed very carefully. The main information available in the project charter is related to the purpose of the project, high-level project description, assumptions, and challenges that lie ahead in the project.

So, the first step is to analyze the project charter.

Project Management Plan

Project Management Plan is one of the initially drafted documents of the project. It includes the quality management plan that explains how quality of the project will be managed, lifecycle of the project which explains how to project is going to run and what are its different phases, and development approach that describes which kind of development approach will be used for the project such as waterfall, adaptive, iterative, etc.

Once Project Management Plan is analyzed, you are good to move towards developing Scope Management Plan.

2. Develop Scope Management Plan

Scope management plan is an important and initial document of the project that explains how the project scope is going to be defined, developed, monitored, controlled, and validated.

Once you have done a healthy analysis of the important project documents, Scope Management Plan is easy to develop. It includes the following:

  • Detailed process of coming up with project scope statement.
  • How the WBS will be created according to the developed project statement.
  • What will be required in approving and maintaining the scope baseline.
  • How the formal acceptance of project deliverables will be gained through a formal process.

3. Collect Project Requirements

Collecting project requirements is the third step. It deals with the processes that determine, document and manage project stakeholder’s needs and requirements. It is an important step in order to meet the objectives and desired results. This steps help with defining a basis to develop the project scope.

In order to collect the requirements for the project, the two important steps are studying the current documents and conducting activities and approaches to collect the necessary requirements.

Study the documents

Following are the documents that need to be studied:

  • Assumptions Log: It includes all the assumptions which can have profound effect on the requirements of the project.
  • Lessons learned register: In this register, all the lessons from past experiences are included that followed the same developmental approach. It includes adequate information regarding the techniques to collect the requirements effectively.
  • Stakeholder register: It contains all the needs and expectations of the project stakeholders. In this way, this document is helpful in collecting the information for requirements.
  • Agreements: These include all the project and product requirements that are settled between the involved parties in the agreements. Studying the agreements will clarify the most important requirements for the project.

Conduct collect requirements activities

When you are done studying the important documents to collect project requirements, next step is to conduct some beneficial activities and approaches that can help in collecting project requirements. These activities are:

  • Meetings: Meetings with the team members as well as project stakeholders are a good way to come up with a collective consensus over project requirements.
  • Workshops: Conducting workshops is useful in producing the ideas and collecting new information from the participants that help in collecting requirements.
  • Brainstorming sessions: By conducting brainstorming sessions, different ideas can be generated and collected which are related to project requirements.
  • Interview: Interview is a healthy approach for collecting requirements information from stakeholders individually or in a group.

4. Represent The Requirements Properly

Once the project requirements are collected, it is important to give them a proper diagrammatic or graphic representation. This is important to narrow down and gather the requirements in one place. The two significant representations can be:


Prototyping is done to obtain the early feedback on requirements by proposing all the results in a model before they are actually achieved. There are many prototyping techniques that can be used such as storyboarding. Prototyping utilizes the concept of progressive elaboration in iterative cycles of user experimentation, feedback generation and prototype revision. All of these help in representing the requirements efficiently and properly.

Context diagram

Context diagram is a full-fledged scope model. It presents requirements as a business system. All the inputs, actors and sources for the inputs and the results are portrayed. 

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5. Produce Requirement Documentation

Requirements documentation tells how individual requirements meet all the business needs of the project. When the requirements are represented properly, it is important to produce requirements documentation. So, the next step is to produce requirement documentation.

It can be either a simple document in which all the requirements are listed or an elaborative document that has a complete and detailed information of the requirements such as an executive summary, detailed descriptions and attachments.

The requirements can further be classified into smaller groups which help with refinement and details as the requirements keep adding. Some of the major classified groups include business requirements, stakeholder requirements, solution requirements, project requirements and quality requirements.

An important part of requirements documentation is requirement traceability matrix. Requirements traceability matrix is a sort of grid that links products requirements to their final deliverables. It is a good way to track the requirements throughout the project. Once you have gotten this structure, it is easy to manage if there is any change at the later stage. At this stage, requirements traceability matrix is the most comprehensive way to trace the progress of the requirements.

6. Develop Project Scope Statement

Developing project scope statement is the part of defining the scope of the project. As defining scope helps in giving forward the detailed description of project and its results, developing the project scope statement becomes easy through this process.

So, once you have complete structures and documents regarding project requirements, project scope statement is the next step.

Project scope statement involves all the description of project scope, major deliverables of the project, all the assumptions regarding the project as well as all the constraints and challenges. Project scope statement does not only mention the project scope but it documents it entirely. It dos not only mention the deliverables but express them in detail.

A detailed project scope statement includes:

  • Characteristics of the product, services or result deliverables.
  • Summarized or detailed information regarding deliverables which also includes the reports and documentation. 
  • All the conditions that need to be met for the acceptance of deliverables.
  • All the unnecessary steps, activities and approaches that are excluded from the project.

Project scope statement aims at providing common understanding of the project scope for all the project stakeholders. Once all of this is included, the aim is fulfilled efficiently.

7. Create WBS

Work breakdown structure is the process in which project deliverables and all the required project work is further subdivided into chunks and pieces. It helps in better management of the work as well as its on-time completion. WBS successfully gives forward a framework that needs to be followed throughout the entire project.

Once you have developed project scope statement, it becomes easier to create WBS. The main activities and approaches for creation of WBS are the following:


It is the best approach for the creation of WBS. As the name suggests, decomposition means breaking the tasks into smaller and more manageable tasks. The level of decomposition is often in accordance with the degree of project control that helps in effective management of the project.

Overall, decomposition follows these steps:

  • Analyzing and identifying the deliverables and project tasks.
  • Providing a proper framework for WBS
  • Decomposing upper level tasks into smaller level detailed tasks
  • Following the same method for all the project tasks.
  • Verification of the developed WBS structure

Expert Judgement

It takes into account the professional experience and expertise of the experts who have been involved in the similar projects before.

8. Develop Scope Baseline

Once you have developed the project scope statement and created WBS, next step is to develop the scope baseline of whom these two are the significant component.

Scope baseline is the approved form of project scope statement and WBS. As it is an approved document, it can be changed only through the formal control procedures. Other significant components of scope baseline are:

  • Work Package: It provides a structure for hierarchical gathering up of costs, schedule and resource information.
  • Planning package: Planning package includes all the known work to be done but does not explains the activities in detail.
  • WBS dictionary: It is a document that contains all the scheduling information regarding each step of WBS. The information mainly includes work description, assumptions and constraints, cost estimates, quality requirements and everything that contributes to acceptable delivering of the project scope baseline.

9. Verify Project Deliverable And Come Up With Accepted Deliverables

Once you have developed project scope baseline, you can check if your project deliverables are in accordance to the scope of the project and if all the tasks are getting completed properly. If there are any desired changes, those can be done right at this step.

Take into account all the deliverables that are completed and checked if they are correct. Make sure they all meet the acceptance criteria that is set up according to the project scope baseline. As project scope baseline is approved by the project stakeholders/clients, it is the only required documents to follow.

Once you have come up with all the accepted project deliverables, you are good to go towards the Close Project process.

10. Implement Change Requests

As Control scope process helps with good ending and closing of the project, implementing change requests is its important part. All the deliverables that are not accepted must have been left with detailed description. They can be updated or changed as per the change requests for defect repair.

As these deliverables need to be corrected and delivered at any cost, implementing the change requests is an important step that cannot be ignored.

11. Update Project Documents

Updating project documents is the last step of implementing project scope management for your project. It is important to update the project documents to ensure that proper guidelines and instructions are followed throughout the entire project. Some important project documents to be updated are:

Lessons learned register

It includes all the challenges and problems that occurred during the project scope management ad which approaches were used to solve them efficiently.

Requirements documentation

Once the project deliverables are validated, requirements documentation should be updated with the actual results of the validation process.

Requirements traceability matrix

It is also updated with all the validation results along with the used method and achieved results.

Once these project documents are updated, implementing project scope management is finalized.


So, these are the 11 steps that need to be followed if you want a successful implementation of project scope management for you project. It ensures that the project goes smoothly in accordance with its scope and no unnecessary activities are conducted that might waste the time or delays project deliverables.