Controlling the Project Scope

The Control Scope process is yet another important process defined in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) guide published by the Project Management Institute (PMI). This process enables you to measure the performance of the project and product scope. Additionally, the process enables you to manage the scope baseline changes. The baseline of the project scope is the project scope, the work breakdown structure, and work breakdown structure dictionary that you have negotiated and agreed upon with the stakeholders of the project. The measurement of the success of the project as well as the project manager depends on how well the requirements of the project are met and how well the scope baseline is adhered to. The scope baseline is the part of your project management plan and must be approved by the stakeholders of the project.

As a project manager, it is one of your responsibilities to frequently measure the scope and make sure that the project is being completed as per to the project plan. You must remember that the project scope baseline by itself is your project management plan. One of the most important requirements for controlling the project scope is to make sure that you have a complete and clear definition of the project scope. For this, you must know of the requirements documented in the requirements document as well as the requirements traceability matrix.

Then, you need to measure the performance of the scope as against the scope baseline and verify the level of variance, if any. Depending on the variance, you need to make a decision if taking either a corrective action or a preventive action is required to control the scope. After you have decided on this, you need to determine if you need to make any updates to the scope baseline or any other project document including the project plan, and as a result decide on the changes that should be requested to control the scope. Additionally, consider the impact that the changes to the scope make on the other aspects of the project.

The control scope process is proactive rather than being reactive. You must think about the source from when the change requests are frequently generating for the project and make sure that you prevent or eradicate the need for any further changes from such source.

Your role as a project manager is not to process change requests from various stakeholders. You must control the project as per the project management plan and make sure that you meet all baselines defined for the project. Therefore, you must not get influenced by the stakeholders and keep adding to or changing the scope of the project. If the need is there, you must make sure that you follow the change management process, and also that the change requests are well within the planned scope of the project. It is a common practice that stakeholders make multiple attempts to influence the project by requesting changes to the scope of the project. As a project manager, it is your responsibility to make sure that you must control the scope of the project and not make any changes that impact the scope and deviates it from the planned scope of the project.