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Describe The Term Scope And Explain Four Techniques

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 14th July 2012


Scope Management is the process by which the deliverables, and work to produce them, are identified and will define what is in and out of scope.

A high level of scope is documented in the business case (when the intention is to set the scene, i.e. the project will build 3 new buildings) and is refined as the project progresses.  The PMP requires more details to the exact nature of the precise deliverables and is refined using a product breakdown structure and a work breakdown structure.

Four techniques for developing scope are:

Work breakdown structure – The WBS details what should be done (contains verbs i.e., actions)

The WBS defines the work required to produce the product and must include everything that is in and out of scope.  Each level is clearly defined through a numbering structure; the number level starts a 1 and then develops as the granularity increases, i.e. 1.1, 1.1.1.  The lowest level of the Work Breakdown Structure is the work package.

Product Breakdown Structure – is product based and contains names no verbs/no actions.

The main benefit of the PBS is that it defines the scope of the product and focuses the project team on what is going to be produced.  The definition of the products will also form the basis of Change Control and Configuration Management.  The lowest level of the PBS will be the deliverable/product.




OBS – The OBS shows the hierarchical management structure of the project, the communication routes and the reporting links.  Each person who has a role on the project should be identified in the OBS – even if they play a very small role in the project.  The main reason for developing an OBS is to define responsibilities and detailed cost reporting. 


                                                                                                                Project Team

                                                                                Department A                                   Department B                                   Sub Contractor

                                                                Jo Bloggs              Simon Smith                       June Brown                                        Jo Brown             Jim Smith

Responsibility Assignment Matrix – combines the WBS and the OBS, which correlates the work packages to people.  The RAM charts are sometimes referred to as RACI charts.   The real benefit of them is that at a glance, it is possible to identify who is doing what.  There should be no missing responsibilities.  This is a key component to the PMP.


·         Responsible – for carrying out the task, i.e. the person who will do it.  Only one person will be responsible for one task.  If there are two names against one task then the task should be broken into two tasks or one name removed.

·         Accountable – for getting the job done!

·         Consulted – consulted in the execution of the task

·         Informed – individuals informed about the activity and informed of the tasks completion.