This Guest paper was submitted for publication and is copyright to Elizabeth Larson © 2012.
Republished here March 2022.

Editor's Note | Introduction | Step 1: Explain the Project Plan
Step 2: Define Roles and Responsibilities | Step 3: Hold a Kickoff Meeting
Step 4: Develop a Scope Statement | Step 5: Develop Scope Baseline
Step 6: Develop the Schedule and Cost Baselines
Step 7: Create Baseline Management Plans | Step 8: Develop the Staffing Plan
Step 9: Analyze Project Quality and Risks | Step 10: Create a Communications Plan

Step 4: Develop a Scope Statement

A Scope Statement is arguably the most important document in the project plan. The Scope Statement clearly describes what the outcome of the project will be. In describing the project in this way, it is used to get common agreement among the stakeholders about the project's scope. Thus, it is the foundation for establishing the extent of work involved in the project.

It is the basis for getting the buy-in and agreement from the sponsor and other stakeholders. Hence it decreases the chances of miscommunication during the course of the project. Typically, this document grow and even change during the life of the project.

The Scope Statement should include:

  • Business need and business problem to be solved
  • Project objectives, stating what will occur within the project to solve the business problem
  • Benefits of completing the project, as well as the project justification
  • A Project Scope statement, stating what deliverables will be included, and most importantly what will be excluded from the project
  • Key milestones, the approach, and other components as dictated by the size and nature of the project.

The scope statement should be treated like a contract between the project manager and the project's sponsor. That means that all but very minor changes can only be changed with the sponsor's approval.

Step 3: Hold a Kickoff Meeting  Step 3: Hold a Kickoff Meeting

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