Don’t start planning and executing a project before writing the Project Scope Statement
Introduction to the project scope statement
Look at the below template:
Project Scope Statement
Project Name –
Project Manager –
Project State Date –
Project End Date (estimated) –
Prepared By –
Date of Preparation –
Approved By –
Background to the Project –
Team Members –
Required Resources –
Time and Cost Estimations –
It is one of the several possible templates of the project scope statement. Not every project scope statement has the same components as above. The components differ based on the nature of the project and the type of business of the company.
As you can see in the template, the project scope statement describes the project. It lists the tasks that you have to do to achieve the stated objectives within budget and deadlines. It provides a detailed explanation of the inclusions and exclusions for the project.
The stakeholders of the project must give their approval to the project scope statement. Even the project team is expected to agree to the points mentioned in it before starting the project. So, who is responsible for writing this document? Who ensures that the document is ready before the project starts?
Responsibility for writing the project scope document
Writing the project scope statement is a skill not everyone possesses. The project manager is responsible for it and must have the relevant skills. The manager must consider every stakeholder’s point of view before writing a project scope statement.
The project manager must network and interact with every stakeholder to get a 360-degree view of the project. A deep understanding of project requirements helps to avoid scope creep. A well-written project scope statement can guarantee a successful project execution and outcome.
Now, we understand what a project scope statement is and who writes it. But, let us also explore the purpose of writing a project scope statement and its components.
Purpose of the project scope statement
Serves as a guideline for the project team
The project scope statement is an essential document for every project. It serves as a strong guideline for the project team to perform tasks. It gives the team members an understanding of what each one should do, by what time, and at what costs.
The project scope statement represents what everyone has agreed to for the project. It reduces the chances of confusion or conflict about the tasks. It leads to better management of the project execution, resulting in desired outcomes.
The absence of a project scope statement leads to over-achievement or under-achievement of objectives. In such cases, team members can find absurd reasons for missing the tasks. So, a project scope statement must be present to do only the relevant, required tasks for the project.
Serves as a piece of evidence for out-of-scope demands
A project scope statement leads to everyone agreeing to the requirements and scope of the project. So, the client cannot ask for any random feature, functionality, or requirement to be added to the product. Even if the client asks, you will have the relevant evidence to show that the added requirement is out of scope.
Difference between Project Scope Statement and Scope of Work
The scope of work is the agreement between the client and consultant on the work. It provides an outline of the project. It mentions the specific tasks, outcomes, timelines, milestones, and deliverables.
The project scope statement describes the project in detail. It provides information on the plan to achieve the objectives.
Difference between Project Scope Statement and Project Scope Management Plan
A project scope management plan is a plan that describes the project in detail. It follows the process of creating a project scope statement. It includes all the details of the project from the beginning until the end.
The project scope statement is a less detailed document. It is more of a guideline for the team members to follow to avoid any change in direction.
Key components of the Project Scope Statement
The project scope statement serves as a guideline for the project team to execute the project. So, it must have all the necessary elements that describe the project. The main components of a project scope statement include:
Justification answers the why of the project. It answers, “Why is the project needed?” or “What purpose does the project fulfill?” It explains the reason for planning and executing the project.
The justification section includes the objectives and goals of the project. You must mention the project objectives and also show how these align with the business objectives. Realization of one or more project objectives leads to the achievement of business objectives.
You must state the objectives in a clear, accurate, and meaningful way. Also, get it clarified and reviewed by the stakeholders to avoid any confusion. You must ensure that project objectives are SMART:
Description of the Scope
In this section, you have to mention the boundaries of your project. What falls inside the scope and what falls outside the scope are the key points. You describe the results that project execution will produce.
Now, you define the key deliverables at the end of the project. The final product, the final service characteristics, or the final result is the deliverable. It gives a clear idea to the project team of what to achieve.
Customers’ acceptance levels for project results define the acceptance criteria of deliverables. You must define the acceptance criteria so that project team members are aware of them. The team will try to make the deliverables that meet these criteria.
Acceptance criteria are nothing but the expectations of customers from the project. If you do not meet these expectations, the project is considered a failure. You must prepare the acceptance criteria list based on customers’ expectations from the project.
You must include in the project scope statement any type of limitations on the project. The limitations may be of any kind – lack of time, fewer funds, or dearth of skills. There may be constraints on the team to follow certain procedures for project execution.
Successful project planning
There might be certain assumptions in your project that need you to make certain changes. You must list these assumptions in the project scope statement for better clarification. Assumptions can be related to time, money, scope, resources, procedures, customers, etc.
Project assumptions may turn out to be valid or invalid during the project. If it is invalid, you need to make changes in the variable or deliverable affected by it. Whatever the case is, you need to mention the assumptions for the project.
All the other components of the project scope statement define the inclusions of the project. But, the exclusions are equally important for project planning and execution. Here, you mention anything that is not covered in the project scope. Something like:
- The product will not have a particular functionality
- The services will not include some element
- The deliverables will not include a specific report
Thus, you and your team members must understand the importance of the project scope statement. Make it a practice to prepare it for every project that you start. It helps you to complete what is expected from the project since it is in writing.
Technovisors can help you in the preparation of the project scope statement. We can help you with similar other documents to ensure the success of your project. We also support you in project execution and management to guarantee results.
We are an IT consulting and digital marketing firm based in Ahmedabad. We help firms with initiating, buying, implementing, and running IT strategies and solutions. Our technology consulting solutions help you manage your IT operations better.
Yes. Work breakdown structure (WBS) is the list of outcomes of the project. It defines the list of tasks that you have to do to achieve the desired objectives. You can use a project scope statement to define the parts of every deliverable and hence, results into WBS.
The project scope statement is a description of the project. It mentions the inclusions and exclusions of a project. It precedes the process of writing a work breakdown structure.
The first step is to prepare the template for writing the project scope statement. The template must have all the components as described in the article above. The next step is to gather all the relevant stakeholders for the project.
You can have all stakeholders in one room and brainstorm the requirements. You need to fill in the details for all the components. The last step is to get approval from the relevant senior management to finalize the document.
No, they are different. The project charter includes only a summary of the project scope. The project scope statement describes the project scope in detail.
About the Author
(CISA, FCA, CS, DISA (ICAI), FAFP (ICAI))
Pathik is a multi-disciplinary professional with more than 22 years of experience in compliance, risk management, accounting, system audits, IT consultancy, and digital marketing. He has extensive knowledge of Anti-Money Laundering rules and regulations, and he helps companies comply with legal requirements. Pathik also helps companies generate value from their IT investments.