6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 5.1 Plan Scope Management: Tools & Techniques

This post will discuss the tools and techniques involved in the Plan Scope Management Process.   When you have a decision-making process, like you do in most planning processes like this one, the key tools & techniques are going to be

  • expert judgment (these are the people that will help you make decisions)
  • data analysis (these are the techniques that will help you make the decisions)
  • meetings (this is the forum in which you will make the decisions)

This process is like others, and has these three tools & techniques.   Let’s take a look in a little more detail:

5.1.2 Plan Scope Management:  Tools & Techniques  Expert judgment

In particular, those individuals that have experience on previous similar projects should be consulted in creating the scope management plan.  Data analysis

A particular data analysis technique used in this process is alternatives.   There are many requirements that will be discussed; how will they be achieved?   There may be more than one way to achieve a certain requirement, and after brainstorming for alternatives, then the decision becomes which of the alternatives the project will pursue.   That is where alternatives analysis comes in. Meetings

Of course, any decision-making process requires a meeting of the minds because the problem is too big for any one person and their individual perspective to solve.   The people that should be attending, besides the project team of course, are the sponsor and selected stakeholders, and any other individuals who are responsible for scope management processes in the organization.

These are the tools and techniques used in this process; the next post will cover the outputs, the main one of course being the Scope Management Plan.

6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 5.1 Plan Scope Management: Inputs

Before I go into the inputs for this first process in the Scope knowledge area, let me go over some key concepts that are described on p. 131-133

Product scope vs. project scope

The product scope refers to the features and functions that characterize a product, service, or a result, whereas the project scope refers to the work performed to deliver that product, service, or result.

Life cycle–predictive and adaptive

The life cycle is the approach you take when planning and managing the scope of the project. A traditional or predictive life cycle is, as the name implies, one where the scope is defined at the beginning of the project.   In an adaptive or agile cycle, the overall scope is decomposed into a prioritized set of requirements (the product scope) and work to be performed (the project scope) called the product backlog .   At the beginning of each iteration, the team will work to determine how many of the highest-priority remaining items on the product backlog can be determined during the next iteration.

Another important difference between the predictive and the adaptive life cycle is the  process of Validate Scope.   This is the process where the customer is shown the deliverables and formally signs off and approves them.   In a predictive life cycle, this is done at the end of the project when the final deliverable is completed, whereas in an adaptive life cycle, it is done at the end of each iteration.


Project management is increasingly focused nowadays on the management of stakeholder requirements.   Business analysis is the role that comes up with business requirements, and although a project manager may not have to create documents such as the business case, it is important than the project manager understand them.   Why?  Because if conditions change such that the assumptions embedded in the business case are no longer valid, the justification for the project’s continuance may no longer exist.

Now let’s talk about inputs to this process

5.1.1 Plan Scope Management:  Inputs  Project Charter

The parts of the project charter that are relevant to scope management are:

  • Project purpose
  • High-level project description
  • Assumptions
  • Constraints (budget, schedule, or others)
  • High-level requirements Project Management Plan

Components of the project management plan that are relevant include the project life cycle description and development approach (predictive, incremental, or adaptive/agile), as well as the quality management plan.   The scope covers the completeness of the work, but quality covers the correctness of the work. Enterprise Environmental Factors

An organization’s culture and infrastructure are among the factors that can affect the management of scope. Organizational Process Assets

An organization’s policies and procedures are important for any management plan, and  historical information and lessons learned repositories may help guide the development of the scope of the project if it is similar to one done in the past.

The next post will cover the tools & techniques of this process.







6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 4.7 Close Project or Phase: Outputs

This process is the final process you will do as a project manager on a project.   This post will cover the outputs of the process.

4.7.3 Close Project or Phase:  Outputs Project Documents Updates

The most important project document to be updated will be the lessons learned register, which may include information on:

  • Benefits management (making sure benefits of project continue after long after the project is done)
  • Accuracy of the business case (was the business need fulfilled by the project, did this project contribute to the strategic objectives of the organization)
  • Risk and issue management (including risk register and issue log)
  • Stakeholder engagement (including stakeholder register) Final Product, Service, or Result Transition

The product, service, or result created by the project will be handed over or transitioned to a different group or organization if it is an external project, but it will be handed over to the organization itself in the case of an internal project.  Final Report

This is a report on the success of the project based on the success criteria set forth in the project charter, which may be based on  scope, schedule, cost and quality objectives.  Organizational Process Asset Updates

  • Project documents–the entire project management plan may be used to update the procedures, processes and guidelines of the organization
  • Lessons learned repository–the lessons learned register for the project will be added to the organization-wide document called the lessons learned respository.
  • Project closure documents–customer acceptance document from the Validate Scope process will be transferred to the document database of the organization
  • Operational and support documents–documents which help to maintain, operate, and support the product or service delivered by the project.

This is it for the Integration Management knowledge area!   The next post will start the Scope Management knowledge area with the first process, 5.1 Plan Scope Management.

6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 4.7 Close Project or Phase: Tools & Techniques

This process, although it is the final process, is like any other process where there is decision making, in that the key tools are going to be expert judgment, data analysis, and meetings, just like in other processes in this knowledge area such as 4.2 Develop Project Management Plan, 4.5 Monitor and Control Project Work, or 4.6 Perform Integrated Change Control.

However, the purpose will be different–essentially the work should be done by this point, and the customer should have formally accepted the final product of the project in the process 5.5 Validate Scope.   The main work here is close the project formally within the organization.

Here are the tools & techniques of this process.

4.7.2 Close Project or Phase:  Tools & Techniques  Expert Judgment

Experts are needed especially when it comes to matters having to do with legal matters or with internal requirements when closing a project.  Data analysis

This is used to create a “scorecard” of how the project did with regards to the schedule and budget.  Meetings

The project team members and other key stakeholders are the ones who attend these meetings, which are used to do the following:

  • Confirm that deliverables have been formally accepted
  • Validate that success criteria have been met
  • Formalize completion of contracts
  • Evaluate satisfaction of stakeholders
  • Gather lessons learned
  • Transfer knowledge and information from the project
  • Celebrate!

The outputs of this final process are covered in the next post.

6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 4.7 Close Project or Phase: Inputs

This process is the final process you will do as a project manager on a project.   If it is the last process, what is the next to last process.   That is process 5.5 Validate Scope, where you take your final deliverable and show it to the customer for final, formal appearance.  If and only if that deliverable is accepted, does the project enter the “close project”  process.

Let’s go over the numerous inputs to this process.

4.7.1  Close Project or Phase:  Inputs  Project Charter

This should contain the project success criteria, and who signs off on the project (usually the project sponsor).  Project Management Plan

The project work was done based on the project management plan, which is also an input to the process. Project Documents

There are many project documents that are inputs to this process.   The entire list is in the PMBOK Guide, but the most important are:

  • Quality control measurements–this demonstrates compliance with the quality requirements.
  • Requirements documentation–used to demonstrate compliance with the project scope.  Accepted Deliverables

These are the outputs of the process 5.5 Validate Scope.   It is important that the deliverables are accepted formally, i.e, in writing, in order to avoid any possibility for miscommunication.  Business documents

These are inputs to the process 4.1 Develop Project Charter.

  • Business case–justifies the project by documenting the business need and the cost benefit analysis associated with the project.
  • Benefits management plan–ensures that the benefits created by the project will continue beyond the lifetime of that project. Agreements

These contracts with other companies contains the formal closure of procurements that were created by those companies and used on the project.  Procurement Documentation

This documentation is used, together with the contracts (= agreements) themselves, to demonstrate that all procurements are properly closed.  Organizational Process Assets

Here are some of the organization standards, processes and procedures that may be inputs to this process.

  • Project closure guidelines or requirements
  • Configuration management knowledge base (contains baselines and all versions of organizational standards and policies)

The next post will cover the tools & techniques involved in this process.

6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 4.6 Perform Integrated Change Control: Outputs

This process is one of the most important project management processes because it is the management of change on the project, and doing this skillfully can make or break a project.    The last post talked about the tools & techniques–this post is about the outputs of the process.

4.6.3.  Perform Integrated Change Control:  Outputs  Approved Change Requests

The process can either approve or reject change requests.   If they are rejected, they go into the change log (see paragraph on Project Documents Updates).    If they are accepted, and only if they are accepted, then they are implemented.    They are also put into the change log and this can be used to track their implementation.  Project Management Plan Updates

Approved change requests may change one or more of the project baselines (scope, cost, and schedule) or any other component of the project management plan

4.6.3  Project Documents Updates

Project documents may be changed by this process, but the one that is ALWAYS affected is the change log, which documents both those changes which were accepted (in order to track their implementation) and those which were rejected (to record the reasons for that rejection).

This next process is the very last process to be done on the project:  4.7  Close Project or Phase.   This will be the subject of the next post.

A New Toastmasters Pathway

I am taking a break today from going through my posts on project management to talk about another subject that is near and dear to me:   Toastmasters.   Today is the day that the new Pathways educational program arrives here in District 103 of Toastmasters International in the Chicagoland area.

The educational program as it existed before consisted of four educational award levels (Competent Communicator, Advanced Communicator Bronze, Advanced Communicator Silver, and Advanced Communicator Gold) and three leadership award levels (Competent Leadership, Advanced Leadership Bronze, Advanced Leadership Silver).   If you complete all seven of those levels, then you get the crowning achievement of Toastmasters as an individual, the designation of being a Distinguished Toastmaster.   I joined Toastmasters at the very end of December 2010, so a little more than 7 years ago.  I followed the educational program and, step by step, award by award, finally became a Distinguished Toastmaster in the Spring of 2016.

Since then, I have been waiting patiently for the new Pathways educational program to arrive because I knew I wanted to start from square one again and become a Distinguished Toastmaster again.   It would be as if I were given a chance to go back to college and avoiding all of the mistakes I made the first time around.    So instead of graduating Summa Cum Lousy, this time I’ll graduate Summa Cum Laude!

Pathways is about getting a customized learning path that is geared towards your interests, essentially the answer to the question “What is it you hope to gain from joining Toastmasters?”   Some people want to become professional speakers; some people want to become trainers, coaches, or better mentors; some people want to use the confidence gained in the program to become better leaders.   That latter was my interest, and after the assessment, it chose the pathway of Dynamic Leadership as being the most appropriate.   Each pathway consists of 5 different levels, rather than the 3 or 4 in the previous educational program, and you have to complete 2 pathways in order to become a Distinguished Toastmaster.

But like everybody else in the District, I am starting at square one, so I now am going back to the Toastmasters International website to start my journey.   In the past half-dozen years or so in Toastmasters, getting my first Distinguished Toastmaster award has led to several leadership positions, including being a leader in my church (I am the President of the Board of Trustees), being a leader in our local Project Management Institute chapter (as the Director of Certification and then Director of Executive Council), and of course within Toastmasters itself (as Division Director).    With the new Dynamic Leadership program as my focus area in the new Pathways program, where will my pathway towards my next Distinguished Toastmaster designation lead me?

I can’t wait to find out!