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Scope management

The following article is a sample from the full BVOP™ Ultimate Guide and is part of the preparation for the BVOP™'s modern Agile Project Management Certification Program.

The BVOP suggest that the scope of a project is not fixed and may often evolve.

Understanding the scope as a fixed list of goals should not be a perception of organizations interested in the project. In many real-world situations scope constantly changes and this does not necessarily have to be seen as something to be avoided at all costs.

Many interested parties and individuals may be involved in the scope definition and this may lead to an extensive list of demands. The scope of the project may need to change with time. 

Scope management may include the following activities:

Gathering initial information

Gathering initial information may need collaborative work between interested in the project stakeholders (any parties interested in the project, their representatives or such with knowledge about the project needs). 

This process is planned and conducted with the presumption of productivity and each party has to follow this presumption.

Group sessions to define the scope of the project where more than one stakeholder is present can provide validation of the discussed needs. 

Scope definition

Scope definition is detailing the collected information into a more organized and formal list.

Scope validation

A single project may end up with an extensive list of scope items and they all may be requested as important or critical for the project.

Classical project management practices present the term "Not in scope," which usually means that a topic should not be seen as something to be included in the project. 

As the scope of the project may be extensive, the business value may not be clear. The BVOP suggest that, instead of "Out of scope" themes, prioritization of all the themes of the project scope may be applied instead.

If an interested party has mentioned a topic that can be considered as "Out of scope", it can still have some value, that's why it should not be ignored, but prioritized instead.

Scope prioritization

Each scope item has a priority attribute which may have the following values:

  • Definite
  • Very likely
  • Likely
  • Possible
  • Unlikely

Prioritized scope items may be considered as a helpful and valuable collection. This prioritized collection provides clarity to project teams and stakeholders which needs will certainly be developed, which will most likely be developed and which will probably not be included in the project. This may help in planning technologies, resources and estimates.

The collected formal list of scope items needs to be double-checked and agreed upon by all interested parties.

Scope Management in Project Management
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