5th Edition PMBOK® Guide—Chapter 5: Process 5.3 Define Scope

After the process 5.2 Collect Requirements, which takes the high-level requirements and needs of the key stakeholders and analyses them, in the process 5.3 Define Scope they are then used to create a detailed description of the project and product, which is called the project scope statement.

Here is an overview of the inputs, tools & techniques, and outputs used in the process.

1. Scope Management Plan Establishes activities for developing, monitoring, and controlling the project scope.
2. Project Charter Provides the high-level description and product characteristics.
3. Requirements Documentation This will used to select the requirements that will be included in the project.
4. OPAs
  • Policies, procedures and templates for a project scope statement.
  • Project files from previous projects
  • Lessons learned from previous phases or projects
1. Expert judgment Used to analyze the information needed to develop the project scope statement.
2. Product analysis For projects that have products as a deliverable, product analysis can be a useful tool for translating high-level product descriptions into tangible deliverables.
3. Alternatives generation Develops many potential options as possible in order to identify different approaches to perform the work of the project.
4. Facilitated workshops These intensive working sessions help to reach a cross-functional and common understanding of the project objectives and its limits.
1. Project scope statement Detailed description of the project scope, including major deliverables, assumptions, and constraints. It documents the project scope and the product scope, and describes the project’s deliverables and the work required to deliver them.
2. Project documents updates The following project documents may be updated as a result of this process:

  • Stakeholder register
  • Requirements documentation
  • Requirements traceability matrix

One of the things to realize about the Define Scope process is that the process 5.2 Collect Requirements represents the “universe” of requirements from which the final project requirements will be chosen.

The Define Scope takes the high-level product descriptions, assumptions and constraints, which were documented in the process 4.1 Develop Project Charter during the initiating process group, and creates from them a more detailed description of the scope in the Project Scope Statement.

It is possible that in the first pass through this process, the project scope may not be fully defined. As additional risks, assumptions and constraints are added, so the project scope may be revised or updated as necessary as part of the iterative process of developing the project scope.

So the process goes from high-level requirements to detailed requirements from the customer and major stakeholders, and these are translated into major deliverables and then detailed deliverables which the organization will deliver as the goal of its project in order to fulfill those requirements.

I have included the numbers of the project management processes above the stages of the development of the scope.

The next process, 5.4 Create WBS, goes to the final level of the development of the scope, the deliverables in the form of work packages which are the components of the Work Breakdown Structure. The overview of that process will be the subject of the next post.


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