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Project Scope Statement

Daniel Linman
November 15, 2010
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Juggling around Cost, Time and Quality

project scope statementHow to write a project scope statement document? This question is the central one during the project initiation phase because a well-written project scope statement example is the guarantee that the project description, boundaries, deliverables and approaches are determined and stated in clear and unambiguous terms.

An example of project scope statement is intended to find the balance between three project constraints: Cost, Time and Quality. In this article we will talk about the project scope statement definition and what sections are included into the scope statement document.

Definition

Project Scope Statement is a statement of all the work to be done to produce the final product of the project. The best written project scope statement example has a single-paragraph view describing the major characteristics of the project, such as the business need & problem (taken from the business case), the project goals (taken from the project goals statement), the deliverables, and the approach.

The scope statement of project is the reference point for multiple documents that describe the project and its parameters. This document is written before submitting the statement of work.

In contrast to the statement of work (SOW), the project scope statement example document identifies and describes the work required for producing the deliverables while never focusing on details on how to perform the work. Normally the documented project scope statement does not include any specifications for the resources and materials to be used, unless they are considered a structured component of the actual deliverable.

For example, a well-written sample scope statement template will never specify that 5 team members are expected to use equipment to accomplish the work within one week. It will never focus on specific resources, measures and requirements for accomplishing the work.

However, sometimes project scope statement templates may highlight names of resources (team members) that will do the work – then in this case the resources will be a part of the actual deliverable.

Content

As it has been said, the document can be a part of or closely linked to other project initiation documents, for example, the project requirements document, the project charter, business case, and goal statement. This document provides a simple overview of the project and its boundaries. A scope statement document example should give a description of the project in clear objective terms and focus on desired outcomes (any deliverables associated with the initial project effort).

If due to complexity, rudimentary requirements (or other factors that reduce the likelihood of project success) there is a significant probability of misunderstanding or malfunction, the documented project scope statement example template should be used to refine and clarify what information is not to be included as a part of the project.

In this connection, the content of a preliminary scope statement includes three major sections, such as a clear description of the project, its outcomes (deliverables), and approach.

Let’s briefly review each of the scope statement sections.

  • Project Description. This section consists of the statement that describes the nature of the work to be done within the project. Project Description is indented for stating project boundaries and defining the extent of the project with reference to the project requirements.
  • Outcomes. This section of the preliminary project scope statement document covers the results expected to be produced at the end of the project. It refers to project deliverables, so a clear statement of project deliverables should be added to Outcomes section.
  • Approach. Selection of the approach(es) for implementing the project will depend on the rudimentary project requirements documents and project goals. This section of the project scope statement sample document covers the methodological foundation of the project.

The content of project scope statement is static and shouldn’t be changed during the course of the project. Only minor modifications are allowed but the original nature of the document will never undergo dramatic shifts and updates.


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