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scope and requirements

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Project and product scope and requirements

It is quite normal to consider scope at the very start of your project since this determines what is to be accomplished, what will not be included and clarify the boundaries.  But in fact there are two types of scope:

Product scope

This identifies the features and functions that characterised the product, service, or result

Project scope

This defines the work that needs to be accomplished in order to deliver the product scope

It is therefore important that you differentiate between both types of scope particularly if one is named within an exam question!

Product and project scope deliverables

Product scope is fairly straightforward because it comprises all of the deliverables for the project.  Product scope includes tangible things such as hardware, cabling and documents.

Project scope needs careful thought because to identify it you need to think carefully.  Project scope is normally considering activities such as preparing certain documents, creating the project management plan, or reporting the project status, etc.

To help you identify the common types of project scope, here are some examples

  • Planning
  • Documentation
  • Testing
  • Training
  • Reporting
  • Collecting requirements
  • Managing risk
  • Managing change

The completion of product scope is measured against a product requirements, whereas project scope completion is measured against the project management plan.

The scope management plan

This is one of the components of the project management plan, and it describes how you will plan, manage, and control scope.

It is the document that describes how the project scope will be defined, developed, and verified.

It also describes how the work breakdown structure will be created and defined, and provides guidance on how the project scope will be managed and controlled by the project management team.

Defining the scope – collect requirements

One of the first questions that needs to be asked at the start of the project is “what are the requirements?”

The requirements should define what the customer needs, what are they want, and what conditions have to be met for them to be satisfied.

Requirements definition

A requirement is a condition or capability that must be met all possessed by a system, product, service, result, or component in order to satisfy a contract, standard, specification, or other formally imposed documents.

Requirements also include the quantified and documented needs, wants, and expectations of the sponsor, customer, and other stakeholders.

Collect requirements

Collect requirements is the process of defining and documenting stakeholder needs to meet the project objectives.  In a similar way to scope you can have two types of requirements:

Project requirements, such as business or project management requirements

Product requirements, such as technical requirements, performance requirements and so on.

While you collect requirements you should also determine how to prove when they are met, and away to ensure this is that all requirements should be quantifiable or measurable.

Since stakeholders are the sources of requirements you will want to start with setting up your stakeholder register and use this as well as your project charter as this describes the justification for the project and should include high level requirements.

In defining the project requirements and scope, and because all projects are different along with their stake holders, there are several ways you can collect requirements.

Scope and Requirements techniques

There are several requirements gathering techniques which require that you will need skills in negotiating, active listening, brainstorming, and facilitating.  Here are some techniques:

Interviews.  These can be informal or formal, done 1 to 1 or in groups

Focus groups.  This is a more formal method where a group of Prix qualified or preselected stakeholders are brought together along with a facilitator who asks questions about the stakeholders expectations for the end-product.

Facilitated workshops.  These are used for larger projects and can be highly productive.  Facilitated workshops bring together ski stakeholders in order to identify their requirements along with any conflict in requirements or scope.

Group creativity techniques.  This is an overview phrase for whenever a group of people work together to generate information and can include the following:

  • Brainstorming
  • Nominal group technique
  • Delphi technique
  • Mind mapping
  • Affinity diagram