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Preliminary Scope Statement

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This document establishes the reason for doing the project and provides a high-level product description. Its intent is to serve as a reference for future project decisions on what will-and will not-be accomplished within the project. The Scope Statement provides reasons for and justification of the project deliverables. In addition, the Scope Statement should provide detailed information on what the project objectives are, how they will be measured, and the expected level of quality.

The preliminary project scope statement is developed from information provided by the Initiator or Sponsor. The project management team, in the Scope Definition process, further refines the preliminary project scope statement into the project scope statement. The project scope statement content will vary depending upon the application area and complexity of the project and can include some or all of the components identified above. During subsequent phases of multi-phase projects, the Develop Preliminary Project Scope Statement process validates and refines, if required, the project scope defined for that phase.

Scope Statement should include:

  • Project and Product objectives
  • Product or Service requirements and characteristics
  • Product acceptance criteria
  • Project boundaries
  • Project requirements and deliverables
  • Project constraints
  • Project assumptions
  • Initial Project organization
  • Initial defined risks
  • Schedule milestones
  • Initial WBS
  • Order of magnitude cost estimate
  • Project configuration management requirements
  • Approval requirements

Developing a written scope statement that includes the project justification, the major deliverables, and the project objectives and boundaries. A written scope provides a basis for developing, articulating and confirming a common understanding of project scope among the stakeholders. Scope clearly defines the boundaries of the project. Defining scope also identifies which activities are “in” the project and which activities are excluded. Scope addresses:

  • What users want (functions)
  • How well the user requirements are met (quality)
  • When and how it must be developed (constraints)
  • Why (the value in the project)

At this stage, scope should be defined in a relatively concise statement. Later, during the Project Plan development, scope will be detailed out in very specifically. We will introduce the concept of the scope-time-cost triangle here. As you are developing scope, both initially for the Charter and later in more detail for the Project Plan, keep in mind that should any one of the three “triangle” components grow, there is a direct effect on the other “corners” of the triangle. Thus, as scope “grows,” so does the cost of the project and its scheduled completion time.



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