What is Project Scope in Management Plan?

Instructor: Audrey Brown

Dr. Audrey E Brown’s Mastery in Program/Project Management consists of five certifications, along with 15+ years of experience in the field.

Project Scope in management plan is a collection of processes that defines, verifies the validity, and controls the project. This lesson will review the six processes, inputs, and tools and techniques.

Project Scope in Management Plan

Did you know that a recent project management poll results reported the number one reason projects fail was due to perpetual scope creep (27%) and the second reason a lack of understanding of the scope or clients' vision (23%)? These shocking results send a very loud message regarding the importance of project scope management. What does this mean? It means that project managers aren't doing a good job at controlling the project scope and project managers are managing projects when they don't fully understand their clients' requirements.

The project scope management plan is vital input for the project management plan. The Project Management Institute (PMI) defines project scope management as a required collection of processes to ensure all the pertinent tasks are completed. The project scope management plan six processes include:

  1. Plan scope management: A document that captures the scope definition, validation, and controlling the scope
  2. Collect requirements: Capturing clients' requirements in a document
  3. Define scope: Providing a description of the expected outcome
  4. Create WBS: Breaking down the description into bite size chunks
  5. Validate scope: Request clients to sign off on a formal acceptance document
  6. Control scope: A combination of monitoring the project status as well as managing scope creep


To manage your project scope properly, you will need inputs such as:

  1. Develop a project management plan: This document consists of several key and minor subsidiary plans designed to identify the scope, monitor, and control the project
  2. A project charter: Presents the project description from a high level
  3. Information about your organization: Organizational information that can influence the project, such as organizational cultures or organizations' infrastructure.

Keep in mind that the purpose of the project scope management defines what tasks need to be done, who are responsible for completing the tasks, and when do they need to complete the tasks. The goal is to ensure you deliver the project on time, on budget, and the outcome meets clients' expectations.

Tools and Techniques

PMI identified two tools and techniques, which are (1) expert judgement and (2) meetings. First, you need to ensure you obtain information from subject matter experts, which are individuals knowledgeable about the requirements. If you obtain information for non-experts, you run the risk of developing a project scope plan containing bad data.

Secondly, it is essential to hold project scope planning meetings. Although, many project team members do not wish to attend meetings, project meetings are required for you to complete your project scope plan. It is critical for you to ensure you identify all the meeting invitees, which are usually representation from each stakeholder group. If you fail to invite the appropriate project team members you run the risk of gathering inaccurate information, possibly creating gaps in the requirements, and potentially causing re-work (depending upon when the gaps are caught).

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