Scope Definition - Define Scope Process in PMBOK 6

In PMBOK 7 scope definition is a part of the delivery performance domain which consists of actions about delivering the scope and quality requirements that a project has to achieve. After the requirements elicitation, it is time to define the scope of the deliverables properly. 

The project scope consists of all of the outcomes of a project including products, services, or results. As we mentioned in the requirements elicitation section, the project scope can be defined in a prescriptive way, or can be evolved continuously with the progress of the project or can be discovered later. This may change according to the lifecycle type and development approach we use.

Scope Decomposition

There are three common ways to elaborate the project scope;

Project Scope Statement: Especially in projects with waterfall lifecycle, using a scope statement to define the project scope is a useful way. The scope statement can be used together with the WBS and they can form the scope baseline together.

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS): The project scope can be elaborated by using a WBS. It is done by simply decomposing the project work into lower hierarchic levels until reaching the smaller manageable work package.

Identifying Themes of the Project: In agile projects, theme is a collection of user stories. In order to reach themes, the project team develops large user stories called "epics". Then epics are decomposed to features and each feature may involve multiple user stories.

Completion of Deliveries

There are 3 ways of project completion;

  • Defining an acceptance and completion criteria in scope statement,
  • Measurement of technical specifications documented,
  • Definition of done, by using a checklist including all criteria need to be completed.

Define Scope Process in PMBOK 6

After the project charter has been created, and stakeholders have been identified and finally, the requirements have been determined, we may now move on to the scope definition process as the next step. In the PMP certification exam, we will encounter questions about sorting processes according to the time they are implemented. It's hard to memorize the entire sequence, but when we get deeper into the main logic behind processes, you'll notice that such questions aren't so difficult. Because when you execute logic, you will find that the scope cannot be defined until the requirements are defined.

When it comes to the scope of the project, usually both the scope of the product and the scope of the project are considered together. The purpose of the scope identification process is to reveal a detailed description of both the product and the project. If the scope is being defined thoroughly, it is wrong for the project manager to think of only one of the product scope or project scope. when defining the scope, the project and product scope should be considered together as a whole and focused on both separately.

During the scope definition process, the project manager refined the previously documented requirements by performing a number of analyses. At the end of this process, the project scope statement is obtained as output.

When it comes to the process of defining the scope, you should immediately bring to mind the project scope notification in the Iron project management exams. Because the most important output, you will get from the scope definition process will be the project scope statement that you will use throughout the project.

Also check:

Scope Management Plan

What is a Project Management Plan