June 23, 2024

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Definition of Project Scope

Author : DAOUDI Samir | Context : MSc Software Engineering – IT Project Management

One of the most important phases in a project is the analysis phase, during which different meeting are conducted with end users and stakeholders in order to determine the requirements of the project, what are the expectations of customers …etc. This analysis is achieved by summarizing all these requirements in the project document, which might include different parts as:
– Project outline
– Project scope
– Project estimations
– Risks estimations …etc.

The project scope should include different details about the product or service being considered as :
– Product scope description
– Users’ acceptance criteria
– Description of the product or service
– Users expectations…etc.

The project scope might also describe any project’s related information as constraints, boundaries…etc. IT projects, as any other field’s projects require a complete scope for the software or any technology being developed, modified or implemented. Some specific details about software projects might include additional information (Schwalbe, 2011). We can see the importance of the project scope; in fact the project scope can have a significant impact on project’s success. It is the main part, which can help improving the time schedule, project costs and estimations. The project scope can also help defining the baselines.(Schwalbe, 2006).Hamilton has provided another scope definition as “dividing the major project deliverables into smaller and easily manageable component to improve (cost, time and resources) define baselines for progress measurement and control” (Hamilton, 2011).

All these definitions share the same opinion about the importance of the project scope, which might result in project success or failure. The scope definition is a process that should be allowed the maximum importance, this process can be seen as black box, which accepts inputs and generate a well descripted document. The inputs for the process are assumptions and historical information, scope statements, constraints …etc. and it generates some specific outputs as the WBS, which makes a crucial part of the project. The WBS shows the work items required to complete the project.
There is no specific tasks and elements to include in the project scope, however, the most important part of the project scope are:
– Project requirements.
– WBS.
– Scope definition
– Metrics and baselines to control the scope.

As all the next steps are developed around the project scope, we can easily see its importance and the weight it has within a project. For this reasons, project managers and all other team members involved in this phase of the project should grant it the most importance and priority in order to ensure that the next tasks can be efficiently understood and performed.



– Kathy Schwalbe (2011). Information Technology: Project Management. ISBN: 978-1-11-22175-1.

– Kathy Schwalbe (2006). Introduction to Project Management. ISBN: 978-1-4188-3559-0.

– Albert Hamilton (2011). Managing Projects for Success: A Trilogy. ISBN: 0-7277-2941-1.