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

Baselines and Freezes: Milestones 5 through 8

During the preliminary engineering stage, subsystems are optimized and performance requirements are translated into technical specifications for sub subsystems or subcomponents. In a building project, for example, a decision may be made to use hot water heating in preference to steam or forced air. The process design for the hot water system would be optimized and technical capabilities of subcomponents, such as the circulating pumps, would be decided (throughput volume, inlet and outlet pressure, operating temperature range, etc.). As shown on Figure 2, the WBS is expanded at milestone 5 to reflect these preliminary design decisions. In the defense materiel procurement cycle, this is called the allocated baseline. Functional capabilities are allocated to specific hardware and software items, and development specifications are written for the items.

McCoy and Brodkorb label the deliverables at milestone 5 the "functional specification." They suggest the functional specification should describe not only the configuration item itself, but also the associated documents that must be delivered as evidence of successful design and implementation. Such documents include test and commissioning procedures, permits, and regulatory approvals.[75]

Often subsystems or components are procured as a single item on the basis of the functional specification. The vendor is made responsible for preparing the detailed design and for subsequent fabrication of the component. In many organizations, the cost estimate prepared from the preliminary design is the basis for the major funding authorization for a capital project.

Once it has been reviewed and found compliant with both the statement of requirements and the functional baseline, the preliminary design is "frozen" as the basis for the detailed design.

In the detailed design stage, working drawings and detailed specifications are prepared as a basis for the fabrication, construction, or procurement of physical items. In the case of computer software, the design provides detailed instructions to the programmer: flow charts of processing logic for each module, naming conventions, programming language, and required documentation. The detailed design is reviewed against the requirements and the previous design baselines.

If compliant, the detailed design is "frozen" as the "product baseline." The deliverables issued at this point, milestone 6, would include material and equipment lists, test and commissioning procedures, working drawings, and detailed specifications.[76] The WBS, as suggested in Figure 2, will typically be expanded to lower levels again during the course of final design.

During the implementation stage, hardware and software items are inspected for compliance with the product baseline. This scope management activity is often called "quality control." At milestone 7, the completed physical deliverable is certified as compliant with the detailed design. In the start up stage, the users - those who will inherit the results of the project - rehearse regular operation and maintenance with guidance and support from the project team. The users satisfy themselves that they have been adequately trained and that they have the necessary manuals and documents.

Milestone 8 marks the conclusion of the project. Smythe,[77] and McCoy and Brodkorb,[78] suggest that there should be a final certification to mark the acceptance of the project results. Both the beneficiaries and the sponsor should agree that the project scope objectives have been fulfilled. The acceptance checklist should be drawn from the statement of requirements. The final certificate should make direct reference to the documented scope baseline.

Baselines and Freezes at Milestones 3 and 4   Baselines and Freezes
at Milestones 3 and 4

75. McCoy, F.A, and Brodkorb, R. Enhancements in Measuring With a Project Engineering Management Process. Proceedings of the 1986 Seminar/Symposium Drexel Hill, PA: The Project Management Institute, 1986, p193
76. Ibid.
77. Smythe, E.B. The Project Management Process Copies of overhead transparencies used in a seminar, Vancouver, B.C.: Executive Programs, the University of British Columbia, 1981, p48
78. McCoy, F.A, and Brodkorb, R. Enhancements in Measuring With a Project Engineering Management Process. Proceedings of the 1986 Seminar/Symposium Drexel Hill, PA: The Project Management Institute, 1986, p194
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