This paper was originally presented in 1987 at the PMI Northwest Regional Symposium, Portland, Oregon. It is copyright to Walter Wawruck© 1987-2006.
Published here December 2006.

PART 2 | Control Means Maintaining Baselines as the Scope Evolves
The Life Cycle Model | Evolution of Scope
Baselines and Freezes at Milestones 3 and 4 | Baselines and Freezes: Milestones 5 through 8
 Design Reviews | Managing Changes | Summary of Project Scope Management Principles

Evolution of Scope

The division of the life of a project into a series of distinct stages provides the project manager and the sponsor with a mechanism for guiding and controlling the evolution of the project scope. Evolution, as used here, does not mean change. It means elaboration or progressive expansion of detail. As McCoy suggests, the project objectives do not change at each successive stage, but the definition becomes more exact.[69]

The elaboration of scope is a process of creation and innovation. The design process can be characterized as a series of choices from among creatively conceived alternatives. The "top down" or hierarchic approach to design development casts the design choices into the question: What is the best way to subdivide a component or system into subcomponents or subsystems, each with a distinct function to perform? The expansion of the WBS to a lower level reflects the decision taken in response to this question. As illustrated in Figure 2, the detailing and expansion of the WBS follows the elaboration of configuration detail through design choices.

The preceding description of design development uses terminology familiar to architects, engineers, systems analysts, and programmers. However, the process of guided elaboration has universal application. The mounting of a theatrical production, for example, can and should develop in a structured fashion. From a script containing only dialogue and sketchy stage directions, the director must oversee the development of detailed specifications for lighting, costumes, sound, scenery, props, casting, choreography, and movement. All these characteristics of the end product are determined through a series of creative decisions that should all reflect a coherent expression of artistic (and perhaps commercial) intent. The elements of the WBS in this example perhaps would consist of acts, scenes, and settings.

The Life Cycle Model   The Life Cycle Model

69. McCoy, F.A. Measuring Success. Establishing and Maintaining a Baseline. Proceedings of the 1986 Seminar/Symposium Drexel Hill, PA: The Project Management Institute, 1986, p49
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