PMP Certification: Project Scope Management Whats, Whens, and Whys (based on PMBOK® Guide, 6th Edition)


Project Scope Management Whats, Whens, and Whys

by Project Management Process Group

1. Plan Scope Management


  • WHAT Plan Scope Management Is. Plan Scope Management implies determining all of the work necessary to define the project scope, make sure the team is planning to do the right work, and control it.
  • WHY Plan Scope Management Is Important. The Plan Scope Management process helps project managers to think through everything they will need to do to keep the project focused on the right work, from beginning to end.
  • WHEN Plan Scope Management Is Executed. Although Plan Scope Management is the first process in the Project Scope Management Knowledge Area, a project manager can develop the scope management plan in iterative stages during project planning. Indeed, the scope management plan is part of the project management plan, which is used as an input, in its turn, for the Plan Scope Management process.
Image titled pmp certification project scope management whats whens whys pmbok guide 6th edition

Project Scope Management Whats, Whens, and Whys

by Project Management Process Group

1. Plan Scope Management


  • WHAT Plan Scope Management Is. Plan Scope Management implies determining all of the work necessary to define the project scope, make sure the team is planning to do the right work, and control it.
  • WHY Plan Scope Management Is Important. The Plan Scope Management process helps project managers to think through everything they will need to do to keep the project focused on the right work, from beginning to end.
  • WHEN Plan Scope Management Is Executed. Although Plan Scope Management is the first process in the Project Scope Management Knowledge Area, a project manager can develop the scope management plan in iterative stages during project planning. Indeed, the scope management plan is part of the project management plan, which is used as an input, in its turn, for the Plan Scope Management process.

2. Collect Requirements


  • WHAT Collect Requirements Is. Collect Requirements implies turning project stakeholders’ needs into requirements, characteristics of project deliverables.
  • WHY Collect Requirements Is Important. The Collect Requirements process generates two outputs – requirements documentation and requirements traceability matrix – that document how the final product or service of the project will look like to meet the stakeholders’ expectations.
  • WHEN Collect Requirements Is Executed. The requirements gathering process is used prior to completing the scope statement.

3. Define Scope


  • WHAT Define Scope Is. Define Scope implies understanding and documenting in detail the scope of the project, to create the project scope statement.
  • WHY Define Scope Is Important. The precision and completeness of scope definition are crucial to the success of the project. Conversely, an undocumented scope might lead to scope creep or/and gold plating.
  • WHEN Define Scope Is Executed. The Define Scope process selects the final project requirements from the project requirements list generated during the Collect Requirements process. Due to the iterative nature of these two processes, scope and requirements are progressively elaborated in a loop, as more details become known.

4. Create WBSpmp exam 2018 all-in-one free online course tipsographic


  • WHAT Create WBS Is. Create Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) implies taking the deliverables listed in the scope statement and subdividing them into smaller, more manageable components. It is where a project manager actually identifies all the work needed in the project.
  • WHY Create WBS Is Important. Since much of the other work in project planning is based on the WBS, Create Work Breakdown Structure is a critical project management process.
  • WHEN Create WBS Is Executed. The Create Work Breakdown Structure process begins after a project manager has collected requirements and defined scope.

5. Validate Scope


  • WHAT Validate Scope Is. Validate Scope implies obtaining formal acceptance of the project deliverables by written confirmation – formal sign-off – from all of the stakeholders that the deliverables match both the requirements and the project management plan.
  • WHY Validate Scope Is Important. The Validate Scope process formalizes the acceptance of the project scope by the stakeholders.
  • WHEN Validate Scope Is Executed. Validate Scope is usually the last scope management process that a project manager performs in the project, as soon as the product is delivered. A project manager validates scope with the customer also at the end of each project phase, or whenever formal acceptance of any deliverable is needed.

6. Control Scope


  • WHAT Control Scope Is. Control Scope implies updating scope, plan, baseline, and WBS information with any approved and documented modification to the project and product scope.
  • WHY Control Scope Is Important. By measuring and assessing work performance data against the scope baseline, the Control Scope process prevents any uncontrolled change to the project scope – scope creep.
  • WHEN Control Scope Is Executed. Since scope baseline creation, a project manager performs the Control Scope process anytime scope changes are requested.

Click here for a detailed analysis of each project management process group and knowledge area.

SOURCES: Project Management Institute (2017). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). 6th ed. Newtown Square: Project Management Institute.

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