6 steps to successfully define the scope of a project

Cost Benefit Analysis

The project cost benefit analysis is a measure of a project’s costs vs. its benefits to determine a course of action most beneficial to an organization in terms of cost. Projects are undertaken to provide some benefit to an organization assuming the project is completed successfully. If there is no benefit provided by a project, then it will not be approved. However, there must be a quantitative way to measure the benefit provided by the project. This portion of the project scope statement template provides this quantitative analysis and ensure all stakeholders understand why the project has been approved as well as the benefits.


A cost benefit analysis has been performed for the PMD Project. The successful completion of this project will provide significant benefits to Acme Consulting. It is imperative that all stakeholders understand these benefits as well as the importance of the successful completion of this project. The table below shows a net benefit of $35,000 over one year after successful completion of the PMD Project. This is a total benefit of $242,000 if no project is done and schedule delays, cost overruns, and poor resource allocation continue.

With PMD Project Without PMD Project
Costs of Project
Recurring Cost $0 $0
Non-Recurring Cost $172,000 $0
Capital Costs $0 $0
Total Cost of PMD Project $172,000 $0
Benefits (1 year)
Reduce Delays by 30% $15,000 -$15,000
Reduce Overruns by 30% $170,000 -$170,000
Improve Resource Allocation $22,000 -$22,000
Total Benefits of PMD Project $207,000 -$207,000
Net Benefits of PMD Project $35,000 -$207,000

Project Scope Checklist: Wrap Up!

It is essential for you to always cover all the basics before understanding how to determine project scope. Always follow the four steps mentioned in this blog to make sure the project is implemented without any hassles.

The ideal way to make sure you avoid project scope is by using simple project management software. PM software, like ProProfs Project, not only helps you manage multiple projects easily but also gives you a platform to define project goals clearly and manage project creep efficiently.

ProProfs Project helps you to:

  • Plan projects alongside your team using a shared calendar
  • Create task dependencies so that teams move on to a new task only when previous tasks are finished
  • Track work progress of all your projects on one dashboard
  • Create insightful reports to monitor team and project performance

Other than these features, a robust project management software helps you pre-determine scope creep, manage it efficiently — therefore, avoid project failure.

Now that we know how to define project scope and identify it, let us cover a few FAQs on the same topic.

How to Identify the Scope of a Project: The Four Steps

Step 1: Identify Project Needs

The first step in the project scope checklist is to identify project needs. For this, you need to:

  • Establish a project timeline
  • Understand project resource allocation needs
  • Set project goals

It is essential to understand project requirements to know what exactly needs to be done when trying to reach the end goal. Everything needs to be identified right from defining the project goal to determining the subtasks that need to be accomplished for achieving the end goal. Further, the resources needed to get all the work done need to be identified as well.

Try ProProfs Project to Achieve Your Project Goals >>

Step 2: Identify Project Objectives

Project objectives are the different business goals that a company wishes to achieve through their product or service. A few examples of project objectives include introducing a new product, developing new software, or creating a new service in an organization. The best way to identify and determine project objectives is through the S.M.A.R.T guidelines.

Specific – What are the project goals and objectives? Why and how will they be achieved?

Measurable – Can all of them be accounted for?

Achievable – Can it be accomplished with the available resources?

Realistic – Can it be easily delivered, irrespective of any complications?

Time-bound – Can everything be achieved in the set time frame?

Make sure you have answers to all these questions before you proceed to the third step.

Step 3: Identify Project Expectations

Quoting the Google Wave example again, the basic problem was not identifying and meeting the target audience’s expectations — although the teams’ expectations were met. Therefore, it is essential to identify project expectations for both the team working on the project and the target audience. So, for the team, the project expectations include the efficiency and effectiveness of the project’s operational process.

For the target audience, the main expectation is customer delight; that is how happy the customers are when using your product or service. This usually is determined by the product or service:

  • Price
  • Quality
  • Availability
  • Policies

Make sure you have identified and defined all these aspects when defining the project scope.

Must Read: Common Project Risks and How EPM Software is a Great Solution

Step 4: Identify Project Constraints

The last and most important step in the project scope checklist is identifying the project constraints. Being aware of a project’s limitations is as equally important as identifying its goals. This can minimize problems or issues faced during project execution, thereby preventing any delay in deliverables.

A few things that can cause project constraints are:

  • Internal and external conditions
  • Dynamic environment
  • Technical glitches
  • Lack of resources

Along with knowing how to identify project scope, it is also important to understand the project scoping process.

Overview

Scope is the region of the codebase over which an identifier is valid.

A lexical environment is a mapping between identifier names and the values associated with them.

Scope is formed of a linked nesting of lexical environments, with each level in the nesting corresponding to a lexical environment of an ancestor execution context.

These linked lexical environments form a scope «chain». Identifier resolution is the process of searching along this chain for a matching identifier.

Identifier resolution only occurs in one direction: outwards. In this way, outer lexical environments cannot «see» into inner lexical environments.

There are three pertinent factors in deciding the scope of an in JavaScript:

  1. How an identifier was declared
  2. Where an identifier was declared
  3. Whether you are in strict mode or non-strict mode

Some of the ways identifiers can be declared:

  1. , and
  2. Function parameters
  3. Catch block parameter
  4. Function declarations
  5. Named function expressions
  6. Implicitly defined properties on the global object (i.e., missing out in non-strict mode)
  7. statements

Some of the locations identifiers can be declared:

  1. Global context
  2. Function body
  3. Ordinary block
  4. The top of a control structure (e.g., loop, if, while, etc.)
  5. Control structure body
  6. Modules

Process scope

In much the same vein as project scope, knowing the scope is vital when creating a process, and therefore in calculating the scope of projects which involve them. This helps by splitting up projects into assignable tasks and processes which can be reliably and consistently carried out, and by giving a set of instructions which makes sure that everyone knows what they should be doing at any given time.

The same principle applies here to project scope – you need to know what the process is designed to achieve and what it takes to achieve just that goal.

To that end, any processes built (at least, at first) should be nothing more than minimum viable processes (MVP). This means that the bare minimum is recorded in order to fulfill the objectives.

In other words, don’t worry about recording fancy instructions or making sure that your graphics fit a custom, consistent design. Heck, you don’t even need to have any text or details at all when recording an MVP – the only thing that’s needed should be the task list.

Once this is recorded you can then go back and fill in just enough specific detail in each task to make sure that everything is completed correctly.

To find out more, check out our other articles on the topic:

  • How To Create a Process People Won’t Hate Using
  • How to Build a Minimum Viable Process Pack for Your Startup
  • Creating a Process Template

What is a Scope Management Plan?

Like any plan, a scope management plan is a bunch of processes that are in place to make sure that the project includes all the necessary tasks for a successful project. The scope management plan is primarily concerned with defining how the scope is explained, developed, structured and verified.

By using a scope management plan, project managers can define and map their project, so it remains within the planned scope. The scope management plan helps project managers to allocate resources in such a manner that the project can finish on time, within budget and with the quality expected by stakeholders.

Project scope management is about:

  • Planning the process to define the work that must be done over the course of the project
  • Controlling and monitoring those processes
  • Documenting and tracking to avoid scope creep when approving or disapproving changes
  • Closing, including an audit of deliverables and assessing the outcome against the plan

Структура оценки

Как мы выяснили в первой части статьи, цель оценки — не только найти трудозатраты, но и описать скоуп, риски, а также правильно преподнести их всем стейкхолдерам проекта. А потому документ «Оценка проекта» как минимум должен содержать:

Скоуп. Что мы оцениваем в виде списка требований, работ и того, что в скоуп не входит.

Предположения и риски. При каких условиях оценка актуальна, и что, по нашему мнению, может пойти не так.

Числа. Сколько трудозатрат потребует сделать 1 при условиях 2.

Упаковка. Last but not least

Правильно преподнести оценку не менее важно, чем качественно оценить, особенно в процессе продажи.. Заметьте, что собственно оценка в виде чисел только на третьем месте, поскольку качественное определение скоупа и предположений намного важнее для успеха проекта, чем точность оценки

Числа неотделимы от того, что и при каких условиях они оценивают. Ошибка в оценке индивидуальной задачи может составить 5%, 10%, пусть даже 50%, и это может быть некритичным для проекта. В то время как неправильная оценка скоупа и рисков может увеличить трудоемкость работ в несколько раз

Заметьте, что собственно оценка в виде чисел только на третьем месте, поскольку качественное определение скоупа и предположений намного важнее для успеха проекта, чем точность оценки. Числа неотделимы от того, что и при каких условиях они оценивают. Ошибка в оценке индивидуальной задачи может составить 5%, 10%, пусть даже 50%, и это может быть некритичным для проекта. В то время как неправильная оценка скоупа и рисков может увеличить трудоемкость работ в несколько раз.

Все недосказанности, потенциальные конфликты с заказчиком и другими стейкхолдерами намного дешевле разрешать в начале проекта, чем в его середине или конце. Для этого и необходимо четкое описание скоупа, предположения и рисков. Потому не бойтесь мягко, но настойчиво указывать на недостаток информации или ее противоречивость, ошибки заказчика, видимые риски.

Roles and Responsibilities

In order to successfully manage a projects’ scope it’s important that all roles and responsibilities for scope management are clearly defined in the Scope Management Plan. This section of the template defines the role of the Project Manager, Project Team, Stakeholders and other key persons who are involved in managing the scope of the project. It should state who is responsible for scope management and who is responsible for accepting the deliverables of the project as defined by the projects’ scope. Any other roles in scope management should also be stated in this section of the Scope Management Plan template.

The Project Manager, Sponsor and team will all play key roles in managing the scope of this project. As such, the project sponsor, manager, and team members must be aware of their responsibilities in order to ensure that work performed on the project is within the established scope throughout the entire duration of the project. The table below defines the roles and responsibilities for the scope management of this project.

Name Role Responsibilities
John Doe Sponsor Approve or deny scope change requests as appropriate Evaluate need for scope change requests Accept project deliverables
Jane Doe Project Manager – Measure and verify project scope – Facilitate scope change requests – Facilitate impact assessments of scope change requests – Organize and facilitate scheduled change control meetings – Communicate outcomes of scope change requests – Update project documents upon approval of all scope changes
Bob Jones Team Lead – Measure and verify project scope – Validate scope change requests – Participate in impact assessments of scope change requests – Communicate outcomes of scope change requests to team – Facilitate team level change review process
John Smith Team Member – Participate in defining change resolutions – Evaluate the need for scope changes and communicate them to the project manager as necessary
Tom Brown Team Member – Participate in defining change resolutions – Evaluate the need for scope changes and communicate them to the project manager as necessary

Table 1.1, Scope Management Roles and Responsibilities

Scope creep

We’ve all had a project which involves far more work than we first anticipated. Whether due to unforeseen complications, bad planning, or extra tasks being added to the pile mid-way through the project, this often leaves teams scrambling to stay on target and meet their deadlines.

At best, employees will be stressed and risk burning out due to extra (unexpected) work without increasing their resources. At worst, the project will be completed to a substandard level due to the rush, or even collapse entirely.

This is called scope creep, and it’s the number one reason why clearly defining your project scope is important to do before starting work.

Now, I’m not saying that expanding a project’s scope halfway through is always a bad thing. However, trying to do so without due consideration for how the rest of the project will be affected causes major problems.

This is why it’s good to provide several potential timelines and budgets, with optional extra tasks calculated ahead of time in order to provide a flexible scope which suits both the team carrying out the project and the needs of stakeholders.


Think of it like booking a flight. The primary objective would be to book a flight to your desired destination, but there are many optional extras which can add value to your purchase for an additional fee. It’s not necessary for you to book a first class ticket, pay for extra hold luggage, or to fly with a premium airline for the sake of comfort, but all of these are predictable options which you can take for a little extra money.

В чем измеряется длительность проекта или задачи

Единицы измерения могут быть разными, и об этом важно договариваться с самого начала. Если говорить о классике, то мы можем оценивать каждую задачу проекта в часах или днях

Если говорить о классике, то мы можем оценивать каждую задачу проекта в часах или днях.

Если говорить о Scrum-командах или быстрых приблизительных оценках, то для эстимирования можно использовать сторипойнты в числах Фибоначчи, размеры футболок, степени двойки.

Если разложить оценку в сторипойнтах в виде формулы, то получится:

Сторипойнт = длительность задачи × сложность задачи × неопределенность

Более детально можно ознакомиться с техникой, почитав о Planning Poker.

При этом длительность проекта можно рассчитать, используя такие метрики, как velocity и capacity команды: первые спринты рассчитываются исходя из capacity, после 3-го спринта уже достаточно статистики по средней velocity команды, чтобы оценить, сколько спринтов необходимо для завершения разработки продукта.

Более детально об опыте работы в Scrum-командах я расскажу в отдельной статье.

Если мы рассчитываем фикс-прайс-проекты, нам нужно как можно точнее оценить планируемое время в днях или часах. Однако это непростой и небыстрый способ.

Нюансы работы с фикс-прайс-проектами будут разобраны в отдельной статье, где я расскажу, как это работает на практике.

Why Is the Triple Constraint Important?

Think of the Triple Constraint as the boundaries in which you can work. Just as restrictions enhance creativity, the Triple Constraint provides a framework that everyone in the project can agree on. These metrics drive the project forward while allowing for adjustments as needed when issues arise.

Managing a project is often a series of trade-offs and compromises to keep things moving towards a successful completion. The Triple Constraint is a model that helps managers know what trade-offs are going to work and what impact they’ll have on other aspects of the project.

By using a project management dashboard, a manager can keep sight of the project as it progresses. Metrics such as the schedule, cost and scope of the project are easy to track. With this information, a manager can identify issues and adjust the Triple Constraint to prevent those issues from developing into problems. ProjectManager.com features a real-time dashboard that presents all the critical project data that impacts the triple constraint.

Пример ошибочного использования

Функция принимает массив ‘ов и ставит каждому вывод своего номера на .

С вопроса «Почему это не работает?» люди обычно начинают изучение замыканий.

function addEvents(divs) {
	for(var i=0; i<divs.length; i++) {	
		divs.innerHTML = i
		divs.onclick = function() { alert(i) }
	}
}

Для тестового примера сделаем 10 разноцветных нумерованных ‘ов с разными цветами:

function makeDivs(parentId) {
	for (var i=0;i<10;i++) {
		var j = 9-i
		var div = document.createElement('div')
		div.style.backgroundColor = '#'+i+i+j+j+j+i
		div.className="closure-div"
		div.style.color = '#'+j+j+i+i+i+j
		document.getElementById(parentId).appendChild(div)
	}
}

Кнопка ниже создаст 10 дивов и вызовет для них

Если Вы покликаете на div’ы — они все выдают одинаковый alert.

Такой глюк возник из-за того, что все функции получают значение из одного на всех внешней функции. А это значение () на момент активации -обработчика равно 10 (цикл завершился как только ).

Чтобы все было в порядке, в таких случаях применяют специальный прием — выделение . Следующая функция работает правильно. В ней все то же самое, кроме .

function addEvents2(divs) {
	for(var i=0; i<divs.length; i++) {	
		divs.innerHTML = i
		divs.onclick = function(x) {
			return function() { alert(x) }
		}(i)
	}
}

Теперь все должно быть в порядке — каждый дает на свой номер.

Для присваивания запускается временная функция , принимающая аргумент и возвращающая обработчик, который берет из этой временной функции.

Запись используется для создания функции, и тут же — для запуска с аргументом .

Вообще, javascript очень удобный в этом смысле язык. Допускает любые конструкции, например, вместо последовательных вызовов:

var f = function(a) { return  }
var t = f(1)
var result = t // 2

можно в одну строчку создать и тут же вызвать функцию и тут же получить 2й элемент массива:

var result = function(a){ return  }(1)

Временная функция заканчивает работать тут же, оставляя в своем правильное значение , равное текущей переменной цикла.

Когда обработчик активизируется — возьмет из ближайшей внешней функциии правильное значение .

По идее, этих примеров должно хватать для понимания и практического использования замыканий.

Также про замыкания можно почитать, например в cтатье http://www.jibbering.com/faq/faq_notes/closures.html

Acceptance Criteria

Acceptance criteria are the criteria which must be met for the project to be considered complete and accepted by management. This section of the project scope statement template is important as it sets the expectations of what will and will not constitute acceptance of the project. Without clear definition of what will be accepted, there may be uncertainty across the project team and stakeholders. Acceptance criteria may be both qualitative and quantitative.


Acceptance criteria have been established for the PMD Project to ensure thorough vetting and successful completion of the project. The acceptance criteria are both qualitative and quantitative in nature. All acceptance criteria must be met in order to achieve success for this project:

  1. Meet all deliverables within scheduled time and budget tolerances.
  2. Reduce schedule delays by at least 30%.
  3. Reduce budget overruns by at least 30%.
  4. Improve Acme Consulting’s resource allocation ability.
  5. Accomplish an overall performance improvement in program metrics.

Процесс оценки

В этой статье мы рассмотрим общий процесс оценки проекта. Какие основные шаги нужно учитывать, если вы начинаете работать с новым проектом или к вам приходит запрос на изменение существующего?

Прежде чем ответить, как оценить проект, нужно понять, что мы оцениваем.

Первый шаг — определить Project & Product Scope

Для начала нужно определить скоуп выполняемых работ и ограничения. Для этого:

  1. Определяем одного или нескольких стейкхолдеров, которые могут выступать в роли владельца продукта (Product Owner).
  2. Обсуждаем с Product Owner скоуп продукта: что должно быть сделано, какой функционал ожидается, какие бизнес-потребности должен покрыть этот продукт. Таким образом мы формируем Product Scope.
  3. На основании Product Scope создаем скоуп проекта — Project Scope — то, как мы будем реализовывать требуемый функционал. На этом этапе можно предварительно оценить сроки и стоимость проекта (L0 estimates).

Разница между скоупом продукта и скоупом проекта:

  1. Если нам нужны точные оценки длительности работ, то опускаемся еще на один уровень ниже — иерархической структуры работ (Work Breakdown Structure — WBS). Разделение задач на этом уровне позволяет правильно оценить временные ресурсы и стоимость проекта.

Основываясь на своей практике, могу сказать, что на первых двух этапах очень важно писать задачи не только In Scope, но еще и Out of Scope. Если вы хотите узнать, как Out of Scope — требования могут повлиять на проект, рекомендую посмотреть ролик Portfolio

А еще важно проработать нефункциональные требования, которые также могут сильно повлиять на окончательное время исполнения проекта

Следующий этап — собрать команду для оценки

Хорошо, если проект шаблонный: тогда PM может на основании существующей базы проектов или собственного опыта оценить проект самостоятельно.

Если проект нестандартный для PM или компании, нужно собрать группу экспертов (по технологиям и/или по доменной области), которые помогут в оценке.

Команда экспертов для оценки проекта не всегда входит в проектную команду. Однако очень желательно, чтобы архитектор, техлид или системный аналитик, принимающие участие в оценке, потом могли присоединиться к команде. Это снизит риски переэстимирования проекта, когда проектная команда не согласна с оценками экспертов.

Основные челленджи при оценке экспертами:

  • Привлечение экспертов, которые не имеют опыта в оценке работ по проекту. Они могут сказать, что нужно учесть при планировании (построить WBS), но не смогут оценить затраты по времени.
  • Эксперты-оптимисты недооценивают сложность работ и дают заниженные оценки.
  • Эксперты-перестраховщики сильно переоценивают проект и дают завышенные оценки.
  • Опора на оценку сеньоров, которые оценивают «под себя» и не могут давать оценку работ с учетом того, что на проекте будут мидл- или джуниор-разработчики/тестировщики.

Поэтому PM важно подбирать сбалансированную команду. Когда у нас уже есть скоуп работ и группа экспертов, можно перейти к вопросу, как оценить проект

Когда у нас уже есть скоуп работ и группа экспертов, можно перейти к вопросу, как оценить проект.

ProjectManager.com For Tracking and Reporting on Your Scope Management Plan

There are many points in the development of your scope management plan where ProjectManager.com can make the process easier and more effective. For starters, we have a free work breakdown structure template that can help you collect all the tasks that make up your project.

Gantt Charts for Scheduling

Once you’ve completed the WBS, it can be uploaded into ProjectManager.com, our award-winning project management software. Now it’s a project, with all the tasks collected in a Gantt chart, with a list to the left and a timeline to the right. Next, you’ll add the start and end dates to each task, which will show the duration of each task on the Gantt chart.

Because some tasks can’t start until the task before them has finished, these dependent tasks can be easily linked on the Gantt chart. Setting up dependent tasks can go a long way when it comes to preventing scope creep.

Dashboards for Tracking

Because ProjectManager.com is a cloud-based project management software, status updates are instantly reflected, and progress is seen in real time on our project dashboard. The real-time dashboard has metrics for progress, workload, tasks and more, which crunch project numbers automatically and display them in easy-to-read colorful graphs and charts.

When using a scope management plan, tracking and reporting is key. The real-time dashboard tracks progress as it happens, so if things go off-track, you’ll be able to respond quickly and effectively. Part of that means reporting on the progress of the project, which is where our real-time dashboard has your back.

Kanban for Task Management

ProjectManager.com also has multiple views, so if your team wants to just see their task list, they can. Or if you want a visual tool to track workflow, you can view the project as a kanban board, where tasks are cards under columns that represent the phases of your project.

You can also view the project on a calendar. Scope creep won’t have the time to set in with ProjectManager.com giving you multiple views on the project in real-time.

With ProjectManager.com, you can view projects in many ways, such as the kanban board.

Don’t let scope threaten your project, manage it with ProjectManager.com. Our cloud-based project management software has the tools to implement your scope management plan and keep scope creep at bay. Try it now for free with this free 30-day trial.

How to Define the Project Scope

When the project is about to be funded, there should be a set of defined deliveries and objectives for the project. There can be a high level-scope statement prepared at this level.

This high-level scope statement can be taken from the initial documents such as SOW. In addition to the SOW, you need to use any other document or information in order to further define the project scope at this level.

In case, if you feel that you do not have enough information to come up with a high-level scope statement, you should then work closely with the client in order gather necessary information.

Project objectives can be used for defining the project scope. As a matter of fact, there should be one or more deliveries addressing each project objective in the project. By looking at the deliverables, you can actually gauge the project scope.

Once you get to know the main deliverables of the project, start asking questions about the other processes and different aspects of the project.

First identifying and clearly defining the out of scope also helps you to understand the scope of a project. When you go on defining the out of scope, you will automatically get an idea of the real project scope. In order to follow this method, you need to have a defined scope up to a certain level.

Whenever you identify an item for the scope or out-of-scope, make sure you document it then and there. Later, you can revisit these items and elaborate more on those.

Once you have successfully defined the scope of the project, you need to get the sign-off from the related and applicable parties. Without proper sign-off for the scope, the next phases of the project, i.e., requirements gathering, might have issues in executing.


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