The scope of a project refers to the features, functions and benefits that will be delivered by the project. The project scope refers to the work required to deliver the identified outcome.
Having received a brief, it becomes the responsibility of the project manager to identify and clarify the scope by determining:
- What is the project?
- Who requires it?
- Why is it required?
- What is it intended to achieve?
- What resources are available?
- Who should work on the project?
- Who will be affected by the project and/or the project outcomes?
The project narrative is the description of the project that results from the answers to these questions.
It is a scope statement that provides a basis for:
- A contract between the team and the customer (internal or external).
- Confirms a common understanding of the project objectives.
- Enables change control and future decision-making.
You can also locate the scope of a project in a scope management plan. This is one of the major scope communication documents. The project scope management plan documents how the project scope will be defined, managed, controlled, verified and communicated to the project team and stakeholders/ customers. It also includes all work required to complete the project. This document is used to control what is in and out of the scope of the project. It can be very detailed and formal or loosely framed and informal, depending on the communication needs of the project.
Other documents that can be referred to determine the scope of the project include:
- contract or other agreement with the client (internal or external) for whom you are carrying out the project
- the project plan or summary
- other documents outlining expected outcomes of the project, inclusions and exclusions from the project, time frames for the project, quality standards for project, project resources
If the scope is accurately defined, the action plan, schedule, budget, risk plan and every other part of the project will be easier to develop. If something is left out of the scope then it will also be missing from other plans. The scope will describe what it is that you are doing.