Project scope management — a 6-step process for project success

An African American man with glasses and a black shirt sits at a desk and writes in a notebook with a laptop nearby; a text bubble shows the headline Projects with a budget of 350,000 dollars, 11,943 dollars and 35 cents remaining, and a total cost of 338,065 dollars and 65 cents.

If you’re a project manager, you know how easy it is for projects to spiral out of control. Timelines, budgets, stakeholders, and unforeseen issues can all push your project out of scope. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a project that’s much bigger, more complex, and more expensive than you originally intended. That’s where project scope management comes in.

Understanding project scope management is the first step in bringing order and efficiency to your projects, helping you stay on budget, and delivering on time. In this blog post, we will explore project scope management, its benefits, and how to implement it effectively for project success. Keep reading to find out:

What is project scope management?

Scope refers to the boundaries of a project or product, including the goals, deliverables, features, and requirements. It defines what will be included within the project or product and what will not. Scope can be categorized into two types: product scope and project scope. Product scope is the functions and features of a product or service. Project scope is the work needed to deliver a product with the features defined in the product scope.

Project scope management is the practice of managing changes to a project to make sure it will be delivered on time and within budget. It involves defining and documenting what’s included in the project (the scope) and what’s not included (out of scope). Project scope management is critical to the success of any project, and it’s an essential part of project management.

A visualization of the six-step process for project scope management, showing the word Plan in a box, then a red arrow leading right to the word Collect in a box, then a red arrow leading right to the word Define in a box, then a red arrow leading right to the words Breakdown tasks in a box, then a red arrow leading to the word Validate in box, then a red arrow leading right to the word Control in a box.

A 6-step process for project scope management

To effectively manage a project’s scope, project managers need to follow a well-defined process that helps them identify what is included and what is not. The project scope process can be broken down into six key steps:

  1. Plan
    The first step in managing project scope is to create a scope management plan with input from the project plan, project charter, and relevant stakeholders. This plan should define how the project scope will be managed, what tools and techniques will be used, and who will be responsible for managing the scope.
  2. Collect
    In this step, the project team works with relevant stakeholders to identify the project’s requirements. This may involve conducting interviews, focus groups, or surveys to gather input from stakeholders.
  3. Define
    Here is where the project team creates a project scope statement based on the requirements identified in step two. This statement should clearly define what is included and what is not included in the project.
  4. Breakdown tasks
    The project team creates a work breakdown structure (WBS) that divides the project into individual tasks and defines deliverables. This step helps the team understand the scope of work and how it can be accomplished.
  5. Validate
    Once the deliverables have been completed, they are reviewed to ensure they meet the project’s requirements. If necessary, revisions may be requested.
  6. Control
    Finally, project performance is compared with project requirements to identify opportunities, which may change the project plan.

How to start managing the scope of your projects

Project scope management is key to maintaining the integrity of the project’s vision, as well as delivering results on time and within budget.

To effectively manage the scope of your projects and maintain the integrity of your project’s vision, start by clearly defining and documenting what your project should include. Create a scope management plan that outlines how scope changes will be managed, who will be responsible, and how scope creep will be prevented. Once you have a plan in place, work with stakeholders to identify project requirements and create a project scope statement. Use the work breakdown structure to divide the project into individual tasks so that all deliverables meet the project scope and requirements.

Adobe Workfront provides you with the tools you need to plan, define, and measure the progress of your projects. Take a product tour to find out how Workfront can help you manage all aspects of your projects.