How to Prepare a Scope Statement

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How to Prepare a Scope Statement
The project team collaborates with customer to develop the project scope. (Office image by 6922Designer from

A project scope statement is one of three major project documents that explains what work is to be completed and what deliverables (products or services) are produced and delivered to stakeholders, according to the Project Management Institute (PMI) in “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide)." It is a major component of a project’s work breakdown structure (WBS), which organises and breaks down project work into sections and subsections, down to their lowest level.

The scope statement serves as a guide for evaluating whether requests for changes during a project are contained within or outside of the project’s boundaries.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Project Team
  • Customer
  • Product or Service Analysis
  • Alternatives Identification
  • Expert Judgment
  • Stakeholder Analysis

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  1. 1

    Meet with project team members and the customer to announce and discuss what created the business need or how the opportunity was recognised.

  2. 2

    Review quantitative and qualitative measures of contributing factors, such as workload increases, staff reductions and/or fiscal constraints, and the magnitude of each of the contributing factors.

  3. 3

    Discuss the extent to which the business need or opportunity would be addressed if alternatives to contributing factors are implemented.

  4. 4

    Discuss the consequences for the stakeholders if the business need or opportunity is not addressed.

  1. 1

    Describe the proposed solution of the project. This information may be developed by the project owner and/or the project manager.

  2. 2

    Discuss benefits of the solution, with benefits linking to the business need or opportunity.

  3. 3

    Document the benefits, adding quantitative measures or values, such as "implementation of this new service will reduce operational expenses by £130,000 per year" or "this project will be successful if delivered within 10 per cent of the approved budget."

  1. 1

    Meet with the project team and stakeholders one or more times to determine and document what everyone agrees on as project requirements--conditions that must be met by the project. List deliverables, inputs and outputs that are both acceptable and unacceptable for the project. For example, "a new service, recommendation on a new automation, or a voice automation system."

  2. 2

    Document what constitutes a successful completion phase for each deliverable.

  3. 3

    Compare the project scope to the project objectives, including why a specific deliverable is the best alternative to satisfy project requirements.

  4. 4

    List constraints to producing project deliverables, such as "contract provisions"or "lack of manpower."

  5. 5

    Create your project scope statement, stating detailed characteristics of the project deliverables that must be created. Also, include the work that will be required to create the deliverables.

Tips and warnings

  • Prior to establishing a project scope statement, the project charter should be in place.
  • The project assumptions are associated with the project scope and the project impact.

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