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Scope Management: defining a project contributes to a successful outcome

24 June 2021

Scope management, or rather the lack of it, is one of the main reasons why projects do not proceed as planned. Correctly defining what belongs to a project and what does not is absolutely essential for the proper management of a project. It ensures that there are no ambiguities, a project proceeds according to plan and budget, and the quality of a project is guaranteed.

However, scope creep occurs more often in projects than project leaders would like. This uncontrolled scope growth causes unforeseen disruptions in the preparation and execution of the project. As a project leader, it is of enormous importance to keep scope growth under control and above all above the radar.

Critical success factor

Project Scope Management is the second of the ten most important knowledge areas in the PMBOK (Project Management Book of Knowledge). It is considered a critical success factor for project managers and their projects. It includes the processes, which ensure that only the required work is included in the scope of the project.

“For Perfact, Scope Management starts with defining the criteria or work that belongs to a project and which stakeholders should approve these criteria,” said Pascal van Bun, Project Manager at Perfact. “Next, we collect the requests for the project and provide them with detailed information to be able to make a proper assessment and check whether or not a request meets the predefined criteria for the project,” Pascal continues.

Each application is assessed individually and if necessary additional information is requested, such as a substantiated estimate or technical information. “In order to assess the applications as objectively as possible, we use the very useful risk assessment matrix as a tool. Subsequently, the gatekeeping process, where the predetermined criteria are run through, helps to compile a project scope that is as clear and unambiguous as possible,” indicates Pascal.

Changing the scope

When the gatekeeping process is completed, the scope is frozen in the next stage. From this point, the team can start preparing the project scope in detail and make it ready for implementation.
“Still, in the dynamic world we live in, changes to the scope may be necessary. Preferably you keep these to a minimum in order to not disturb the preparation process of the project too much, but sometimes you cannot prevent it. Nevertheless, every change in the scope must be well substantiated according to a predetermined change procedure”, says Pascal.

Within Perfact we have extensive experience in going through these ‘scope management steps’ to ensure that the project scope is managed optimally with a minimum of disruptions during the preparation and execution of a project.

“Perfact may not be unique in managing the project scope, but as an all-round consultancy partner we do bring additional expertise and experience through the experts and specialists who work for us. In addition, we do not limit ourselves to the project scope, but we also give advice on the content of the project, we can deploy coaching to make the project team work well together and challenge them where necessary; are the objectives correct, has the current situation been sufficiently considered, are there alternatives? In this way we are always looking for the question behind the question and we ensure that projects are delivered with high quality and are successful”, says Coppe Sturmans, Managing Director Perfact.

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Coppe Sturmans Director

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