The Project Scope Statement describes the product of the project, and it describes how you will accomplish the creation of that product – the work that will be carried out on the project, including project management activities. It also describes what is not in the project – those requested requirements that were not approved to be in the project or product scope.

In our previous post, we covered the essential element, Identify Stakeholders. It’s important to identify anyone who can affect, or be affected by, the project or its product. It’s also necessary to  develop a project scope statement appropriate to the particular project.

Project Scope Statement

  1. What is Project Scope?
  2. How Do I Write a Project Scope Statement
  3. Key Elements of a Project Scope Statement
  4. Write It Down and Share It with Your Team

What Is Project Scope?

Project scope is a key component of Project Scope Management. The project scope is the work the project team will do to deliver the product or service of the project.  It also describes the product, service, or result of the project with its features and functions.

The documentation of the project scope is called a scope statement, or scope definition and is a result of the Define Scope process.  This document in effect says, “Here is what will we do on this project”. In addition to describing what the project will deliver, it also explains the boundaries of the project, and how the work will be approved.  Note that the scope statement is not the same as the project charter but is a more detailed explanation of the high-level project scope described in the project charter.

How Do You Write a Project Scope Statement?

A scope statement is created with input and expert judgement from team members and other stakeholders. It can also include experts from outside the organization. The project scope statement involves analysis of the project, translating requirements into deliverables.

Requirements, and requirements analysis, should be as complete as possible before creating the scope statement  . Doing so will help you obtain clear direction and agreement on the expected project scope. If this has not been completed, the project manager is responsible for leading the efforts of requirements elicitation and documentation.

The scope statement format may vary based on the needs of the project. Many of the topics addressed in the project charter are covered in more detail in the scope statement.

Key Elements of a Project Scope Statement

The project scope statement provides stakeholders and the project team with a clear understanding of what the project will deliver and includes these components.

Product scope description: Overall description and characteristics of the project’s product, service, or result, and the work needed to produce the product

Project boundaries: What is and isn’t included in the project

Project deliverables: Specific items to be created, produced, or delivered

Acceptance criteria: Documentation of the conditions for acceptance of each major deliverable

Scope-related constraints: Time, cost, and other factors that affect scope, as known

Project assumptions: List of what is assumed to be true but may not be true as it relates to scope

Write It Down and Share It with Your Team

Your project scope statement should be in writing to promote a common understanding and prevent any miscommunication. Because this document supports the work to properly plan a project and demonstrate success when the project is completed, it’s an essential tool that you should be using for every project you lead.

Want to learn more about project scope? RMC offers our popular Project Management Fundamentals virtual instructor led course or our Project Management Fundamentals book to help with real-world project management issues, including how to define and manage project scope.


Rita Mulcahy’s Project Management Fundamentals Book

Cate Curry
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