Learn how to develop a Scope Management Plan. This guide includes all the steps and templates you’ll need to do it right the first time. Before we start, let’s make sure we’re talking about the same thing.
What is Project Scope?
Project scope regards all the work that is required, and only the work that is required, to deliver a product, a service, or a result. It’s what the project is about.
What is the Scope Management Plan?
The Scope Management Plan is a subsidiary management plan. It is one part, or a component of the Project Management Plan. It describes how the project work will be defined, developed, monitored, controlled, and validated.
What Does the Scope Management Plan Include?
Typically, the Scope Management Plan includes:
- Roles and responsibilities of project team members.
- Identification of the project life cycle, any unstable requirements, and any requirements management system.
- Information regarding project requirements, such as how they are collected, analyzed, developed, quantified, approved, rejected, and traced to project deliverables.
- The scope definition which includes the project scope statement, the work breakdown (WBS) structure, and the WBS Dictionary.
- The person(s) responsible for creating the WBS and describing decomposition levels.
- Processes for verifying, accepting, and rejecting the deliverables.
- Scope monitoring activities.
- Relevant project documents.
Steps for Developing a Scope Management Plan
Effective Scope Management Plans are developed by implementing widely recognized good practices in project management. These practices include the following steps:
- Secure a well-considered scope management plan template.
- Identify project roles and define responsibilities.
- Describe how requirements are collected, developed, and quantified.
- Develop the Project Scope Statement, the Work Breakdown Structure, and the WBS Dictionary.
- Describe processes for validating scope, accepting deliverables, and rejecting deliverables.
- Identify scope monitoring activities.
- Identify relevant assumptions, issues, and risks,
- Include relevant project documents.
- Obtain Plan approval.
Each of these steps are described below.
Effective Scope Management Plans are developed by implementing widely recognized good practices.
What is the First Step in Developing a Scope Management Plan?
The first step in developing a Scope Management Plan is to secure a well-considered Scope Management Plan template. Since the Scope Management Plan is one of several subsidiary management plans within the Project Management Plan, consider sourcing a template that is developed in alignment with your Project Management Plan template and its’ remaining subsidiary management plan templates.
When you begin piecing together templates from varying sources, it’s easy to miss something important. This approach can create gaps in your project planning.
It’s more efficient to remove sections, documents , or subsidiary management plans than it is to identify gaps and develop what you need. Without a doubt, a well-considered Scope Management template will save you time.
A well-considered Scope Management Plan template will save you time.
Step 2. Identify Project Roles and Define Responsibilities
Identify the individuals who will perform the project work. Thereafter, define their roles.
When you develop the Scope Management Plan, involve others. Besides gaining insight, you’ll foster buy-in by including the expertise of project team members, project stakeholders, and the project sponsor.
When you develop the scope management plan, involve others.
Step 3. Describe How Requirements Are Collected, Developed, and Quantified
Managing project requirements is an important part of project success. Where the project requirements are voluminous or the management process is somewhat complex, consider developing a separate Requirements Management Plan. Then, incorporate the Requirements Management Plan into your Scope Management Plan by referencing it.
Where the project requires are few or quite manageable, define the requirements management processes within the Scope Management Plan. For example, describe the processes for collecting, developing, analyzing, and quantifying the requirements. Lastly, describe how they will be traced from their source through to the project deliverables.
Where the project requirements are voluminous or the management process is complex, consider developing a Requirements Management Plan.
Step 4. Develop the Project Scope Statement, the Work Breakdown Structure, and the WBS Dictionary
The Scope Management Plan is the definitive source for describing what the project work does and does not include. When the Scope Management Plan is approved, the project scope is considered baselined. From this point forward, the project scope baseline is used to compare against the actual project performance.
The project scope baseline includes the Project Scope Statement, the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), and the WBS Dictionary. Templates for these important project documents, numerous subsidiary management plans, and a project management plan can be found in our e-book, “The Practitioner’s Book of Project Management Templates.” There you will find a comprehensive set of project management templates that are designed together. They also align with commonly recognized good practices in project management.
The Scope Management Plan is the definitive source for describing what the project work does and does not include.
Step 5. Describe Processes for Validating Scope, Accepting Deliverables, and Rejecting Deliverables.
The Scope Management Plan describes the processes for verifying and formally accepting and rejecting the project deliverables. Specifically, it identifies the person(s) responsible to verify the deliverables and it defines acceptable variances. It also identifies how, when, where, and by whom the deliverables will be presented for acceptance, and it defines the rejection process.
Step 7. Identify Relevant Assumptions, Issues, and Risks.
Don’t forget to identify assumptions, issues, and risks as they pertain to scope management. Our Scope Management Plan template includes sections for doing this.
Step 8. Include Relevant Project Documents
At times, it may be necessary to include project documents that will be used during scope management. Our Scope Management Plan template includes a section for attaching them. Once inserted into the Scope Management Plan, these project documents become baselined upon Plan approval.
Step 9. Obtain Plan Approval
Typically, the Project Sponsor formally approves the Scope Management Plan. Our template includes a section to obtain the Approver’s signature.
Good Practices Lead to Development of Effective Plans
Our e-book, “The Practitioner’s Book of Project Management Templates” will guide you in implementing these good practices. It contains 86 editable templates that will expedite your development of an effective Scope Management Plan.
Start Planning Now
Ready to start planning? Learn more about our e-book by selecting the button on the left. You’ll see the complete table of contents listing all 86 editable templates. It includes the Scope Management Plan template, numerous other subsidiary management plan templates, project document templates, and a Project Management Plan template.
Alternatively, if you just need the Scope Management Plan template only, select the button on the right.
About the Author
Kimberlin R. Wildman, JD, PMP is a former attorney, a PMP certified project manager, a federal proposal manager, and the founder of MyPM. She has two decades of experience interviewing subject matter experts, spotting opportunities, and leading projects to successful closures. Author Bio