6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 5.6 Control Scope: Tools and Techniques

As we discussed in the last post on the inputs to this process 5.6 Control Scope, there are three questions to be asked in the monitoring and controlling of the scope:

  1. “what’s the plan?”
  2. “is the project going according to the plan?” and
  3. “how can we get the project back to the plan?”

The first two questions are the monitoring part of this process, and the third question pertain to the controlling part.

This post will discuss the two main tools and techniques used in this Control Scope process, which are also used in the monitoring and controlling processes for the other major constraints (schedule and cost).

5.6.2 Control Scope:  Tools and Techniques Variance Analysis

Variance analysis is where you take the work that was supposed to be done on the scope of the project in the last reporting period (obtained from the Scope Baseline input) and compare it to the actual work done during the last reporting period (obtained from the Work Performance Data input).   Let’s say there is a variance detected between the two.   Then what do you do?

  • See if the variance exceeds any threshold amount set at the beginning of the project.   If it exceeds that threshold, the sponsor may need to be informed, for example.
  • Analyze how the variances in the scope affect the other constraints of schedule and cost.
  • Find out if defect repair or corrective action is required to bring the scope back to the baseline (using the Requirements Documentation and/or Scope Baseline inputs).  Trend Analysis

A comparison of current performance with the performance measurement baseline (usually using Earned Value Analysis) will show if there is a trend towards improving or deteriorating performance.   If it is deteriorating, then find out if preventive action is required to reverse that trend.

The output of these two analyses will be recommendations for change requests, which are the main output of this 5.6 Control Scope process.   (Change requests in fact are the main output of any monitoring and controlling process for other knowledge areas as well, not just for scope.)

We will discuss the types of change requests when we cover the outputs of this process, which are covered in the next post.




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