Project Scope Management Guide 2021

By Imran Syed

Last updated on Jul 7 2020

Project Scope Management Guide 2021

Detailed Explanation of Project Scope Management 


What does Project Scope Management Mean?


Project Scope Management typically refers to the extensive collection of processes that ensure the exact description and visualization of the ample scope of a project. The strategies of project scope planning and scope management allow the project managers to assign the recommended amount of work needed to complete a project effectively. It is concerned with the determination of what is included in the project and what is altered.


What is the Scope of a Project?


Project scope refers to a comprehensive set of deliverables of the project and it comes from the requirement of a project.  Below we list the three Processes of Project Scope Management:


  • Proper Project Planning – It is an attempt carried out to identify, capture, and define the work that needs to be performed.


  • Proper Project Control - The control and monitor process of a project focuses on the tracking of documents and approves or disapproves of the project changes.


  • Proper Project Closure - In the last process, the closing covers the audit of the project deliverables and the assessment of outcomes against the proposed project initial plan.


As projects are taken up to deliver a good, it is almost impossible to achieve the desired outcome of the specific project, if the project and the scope are unexplained and project scope planning is inefficient. The commonly used terms in Project scope Management are,


Product Scope and Project Scope


  1. Product Scope in Project Management


The product scope represents the product characteristics regardless of its functions, nature, parts etc. The crucial point is the project scope which refers to the tangible product which is itself finally created.


  1. Project Scope in Project Management


Unlike the reach of the product, the project scope focuses on the various measures undertaken to produce a product. The project’s complexity might include possible elements such as a budget, assembly lines, training of staff, supply chain, and allocations of the personnel.


Importance of Project Scope Management for Project Managers


Efficient project scope planning requires explicit communication for ensuring that there is a unanimous understanding of the project's scope between the stakeholders and team members.

Usage of project scope templates, project scope documentation, and project scope report helps achieve the project goal. They should also properly understand how to achieve the project’s objectives.


  • Avoidance of challenges - Project scope management helps to avoid the challenges which a project may experience with an extensive scope and requirement list being unruly. The project design sets out explicitly what is included or un-included in the project. This governs what is inserted or omitted when the project is performed.


  • Monitoring Structures – Project scope planning creates monitoring structures for the management of variables resulting in changes over the project lifecycle. Without properly defining the project scope, it is almost impossible to estimate the time and cost, project will take.


  • Estimation of time and cost - Estimating the time and expense needed for the project without accurately identifying the nature of the project is extremely difficult. Often, because of communication lack, the project’s scope can change drastically, which in turn can affect the cost and also cause variations in the project's schedule, resulting in losses. Scope management plan helps in the determination of time and cost needed by the project.


  • Proper communication - Communication is considered to be the primary resource for both stakeholders and team leaders to effectively identify the value of project scope planning. This process is performed to ensure and agree on how the goals of the project are being met. At times, the scope may need changed due to a lack of communication, this in turn, directly affects the costs and disrupts the project's timetable, thereby causing losses.


What is a Project Scope Statement?


The scope of a project is a classic description of the extensive research needed for the successful completion or effective delivery of a project. One of the duties of the project manager is to ensure that only the necessary work ie. the scope is carried out and that each of the deliverables can be delivered within the assigned period and budget.


The project scope report should clarify the project objectives, define the roles of each team member, and develop processes for reviewing and authorizing a work that is completed. The report can be addressed as per the scope statement, research statement, or the terms of reference.


Steps Involved in the Process of Scope Management Plan 


The project manager needs to define project scope no matter what methodology they choose. The steps involved include -


  1. Defining the project needs


This is the first step in establishing deadlines for a project, allocating project resources, and setting targets for the project. With the specified steps, a manager can easily acknowledge the work to be done, that is, the scope of the project needs to be defined. When that is completed, team members may be assigned tasks in the specified time and budget to provide guidance to execute a project.


  1. Understanding the project objectives


In order to determine the scope of the project, it is necessary first to set the project's goals, which could include a unique product, build a recent service within the company or develop a fresh piece of software. There can be many objectives that can be central to a project; thus the project manager must ensure that the team delivers results according to the specified metrics.


  1. Defining the project scope


The resources and methods which consider product creation are generally what defines the project scope. This scope majorly outlines the objectives that need to be met to achieve a satisfactory result. To define project scope, it is required to identify the project objectives, tasks, resources allocated, schedules, and the overall budget.


When these criteria have been defined, the project limitations need to be explained, as well as the aspects not to be included in the identified project. By doing so, the scope of the project will make clear to stakeholders, senior management, and team members what will be included in the ultimate product or service and what not to be included. In addition, the project scope will include a concrete goal for the company conducting the project. It is crucial to the project's reach as it will carry out a critical role in how project methodologies are used to complete the project.


Tips for Project Scope Management


There are always some common issues that arise while performing the Scope Management Plan for Projects. These can cause problems once the project has started, thus it is recommended to review all the Scope Management documentations considering  -


  • A possible ambiguity


Ambiguity in scope frequently leads to unnecessary confusion and additional work. To prevent this, the project scope needs to be precise and clearly defined.


  • The definitions that are Incomplete


Incomplete scopes often lead to schedule slips, which lead to wastage of time and also huge cost overruns. To escape this, the project scope has to be properly defined,  complete, and accurate.


  • Transient scope


Scope creep is caused by a transient scope and is a major cause of delayed deliveries and never-ending projects. It is required that the scope document should be finalized and remains unaltered throughout the project duration.


  • Distinctive Scope


An undefined project scope causes misinterpretations in the project’s unique designs and requirements. Therefore, the scope document needs to be shared with all the stakeholders and all others involved at every step of the defining process.




Project scope management is considered essential to implement the scope of management in a project and it is never a very challenging task; however, it requires effort, time, and patience. It’s worth the investment because a proper Scope Management plan will support the project manager to specify a clear scope and deliver the project with minimal overruns.


With the aid of project scope planning, a project manager can effectively identify, monitor, and ensure the project deliverables are achieved, without any risk over the life cycle of the project and the stakeholders are satisfied with the investment they have.


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About the Author

Sprintzeal   Imran Syed

Having 15+ years of experience in facilitating professional training for clients - Onsite and Public, Imran Syed’s expertise includes both creating content and conducting training for professionals aspiring to get certification in their respective fields. His works are focused on popular project management certifications like PMP, CAPM, PRINCE2, and more.

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