Identifying Project Scope
Before determining project tasks, staffing, and creating the schedule and budget, you must first
define the project’s scope, which provides a basis for future project decisions. The project
scope gives a project team high-level direction, allowing an accurate development of remaining
planning elements and execution of the project. For each project, you should prepare a project
scope that has at least the following items:
• Project charter—The project charter formally recognizes the existence of the project,
identifies the business need that the project is addressing, and gives a general description
of the resulting solution. This description should show the relationship between the solution
and the business needs of the organization.
The requirements phase of the project will define more details of the solution. A manager
external to the project should issue the charter and name the person who will be the project
manager. The project charter should provide the project manager with the authority
to apply people and material resources to project activities.
• Assumptions—The project team should state assumptions for unknown or questionable
key factors that could affect the project. For example, a product vendor might tell you
that a new wireless device will be available on a specific date. If the success of the project
depends on this product, then you should identify its availability as an assumption.
This will assist you when evaluating project risks (see the section “Dealing with Project
Risks,” later in this chapter).
• Constraints—Constraints limit the project team’s options in completing the project.
Common constraints are funding limits, technical requirements, availability of resources,
type and location of project staff, and schedules. Be sure to fully define constraints to
keep the visualized outcome of the project within an acceptable scope.