PMP CERTIFICATION EXAM PREP – PROJECT SCOPE MANAGEMENT STUDY NOTES

This is one of the another set of notes for passing PMP Certification. I am pretty sure these notes will help in your PMI PMP exam prep. These series of notes for all the knowledge area currently being tested in the PMI PMP certification exam are just for your review and will serve as keystone for the next series of articles where I will be teaching project management using a real world example. The real world project example series will help you understand the Project Management Methodology better and also help you for your PMP CERTIFICATION EXAM PREP.

As per the new PMI syllabus there are more tasks being added to the PMP PMP exam but currently the advise is to use the PMBOK v5 for the exam prep. We will also use the content from PMPBOK v5 for the exam prep and I will update the notes to new version when there is more study material available for these newly added tasks in new PMP EXAM.

 

PMP CERTIFICATION EXAM PREP – PROJECT SCOPE MANAGEMENT

PMP EXAM PREP SCOPE MANAGEMENT

PMP EXAM PREP SCOPE MANAGEMENT

The scope management knowledge area comprises of 6 process. Out of the 6 processes in Scope management 4 of them are in planning process group and remaining two are in monitoring and controlling processes group. In scope management there are no processes in Initiation, execution or closing.

The 6 Processes are

  1.  Plan Scope Management
  2.  Collect Requirements
  3.  Define Scope
  4.  Create WBS
  5.  Validate Scope
  6.  Control Scope

Lets discuss each of the process in Scope Management and move towards PMP CERTIFICATION EXAM PREP

1.) Plan Scope Management

This is one of the earliest planning process that is carried out of all the planning processes as until and unless you have a scope, then there is no project or in simple words nothing to do.

I mentioned that Plan Scope management is one of the first processes but not the first one as before moving into planning we need the project charter to be completed as it is one of the inputs to the planning scope management.

Now the question is why do need the process PLAN SCOPE MANAGEMENT – The answer is because we want to have :-

a.) Scope Management Plan – Describes the processes for preparing the detailed scope statement, processes for creation of WBS from detailed scope statement, Maintenance of WBS and changes will flow if there is a request for change.

b.) Requirements Management Plan– Describes how the requirements activities (for gathering the requirements which further will lead to develop final scope) are carried out, planned and tracked. It also included the process for prioritization of requirements, traceability matirix and product metrics.

These two are the major outputs of the Plan scope management process.

To produce these two deliverables Scope Management Plan and Requirement Management Plan we use expert Judgement and Meetings as our tools.

When we use the expert judgement of our stakeholders in making the Scope management plan we need need to supply them with the Project Charter – Which provides them with the high level description of the project and the statement of work(For product characteristics) . Project management plan (subsidiary plans), Policies and procedures, Historical info (Organization Process Assets) and Enterprise environment factors also serve as Inputs for Scope Management Plan.

2.) Collect Requirements

Now after your have made the plan to collect scope requirements and have all the processed and requirement plan ready its time to do some hard work lets gather the requirements from our stakeholders and start working towards it. Collecting requirements is just determining and documenting the needs of the stake holders. These are the requirements which needs to be fulfilled in order to have a successful project. (Success Criteria will be discussed later)

Now we have to collect the requirements for our project we have to gather our stakeholders. The best way to identify all the stakeholders is to use the stakeholder register (Will be discussed in Stakeholder Management) and then also use the stakeholder management plan. We also need our already produced deliverables which includes the scope management plan, requirement management plan and the project charter.

We use above mentioned deliverables as inputs and apply several techniques to generate our final Requirements Documentation and Requirement Traceability Matrix.

a.) Requirements Documentation – The requirements documentation is document which lists all the requirements gathered from the stakeholders. It documents the requirements and how they meet the business need for the project. The requirements may start at high level and then progressively more detailed. The requirements when documented should be acceptable to key stakeholders and complete. They may also have priority and value assigned to them . Each requirement can further have executive summary, detailed description and further details. The requirements can have further classification as

  • Business requirement
  • Stakeholder requirement
  • Solution requirement
  • Project requirement
  • Transition requirement
  • Assumptions, dependancy and constraints

b.) Requirement Traceability Matrix – The requirement traceability matrix is great deliverable(generally an excel sheet) as it helps to track the requirements from starting to finish. It will tell you the stakeholder from where the requirement came and it is satisfied in which deliverable and to which business need it maps to. Each requirements can have several attributes like a unique identifier, WBS code, Test case associated with it and which business requirment it maps. You can look at the following example of requirement traceability matrix.

pmp certification exam prep scope management requirement traceability matrix

pmp certification exam prep scope management requirement traceability matrix

 

Now two produce these two major deliverables you need to spend a lot of time on various activities with the stakeholders.

You need to Apply following tools and techniques

  1. Interviews – This is basic technique to elicit requirements from stakeholders. You can have a list of prepared questions or stakeholders maybe asked spontaneous questions.Business analysts and SMEs could also be part of the interviewing process.
  2. Focus Groups – There is a trained moderator to facilitate this, it is more of an interactive discussion. It generally includes prequalified stakeholders and SMEs.
  3. Facilitated workshops- It is one of the best techniques of bringing key stakeholders together to define product requirements. Examples of facilitated workshops are Joint application Design (JAD) and Quality Function deployment (QFD). The primary goal is to collect customer needs also called voice of the customer (VOC). Then needs are sorted and prioritized.
  4. Group creativity techniques –There are several group creativity techniques not just one. The primary ones are
    • brainstorming ,
    • Nominal group technique,
    • Idea, Mind Mapping,
    • Affinity Diagram,
    • Multi-criteria decision analysis
  5. Group decision making techniques – The group decision making technique is more of an assessment process where multiple stakeholders generate, classify and prioritize requirements. The assessment can be reached on the decision via either unanimity, majority, plurality or dictatorship.
  6. Questionnaire and Surveys – They are used when the number of stakeholder is huge. They are prepared to quickly accumulate information specifically in cases where the stakeholders are geographically dispersed.
  7. Observations – Also called as job shadowing, it is useful in case when requirements cannot be gathered or you can feel the pain of the customer(stakeholder).
  8. Prototypes – This is used to receive early feedback and gather requirements in a better way.
  9. Benchmarking – 
  10. Context Diagrams – They visually depict the scope of the product. They depict how business system (e.g. process, computer, equipment) is used by the actor/user.
  11. Document Analysis – Used to elicit requirements from existing documentation that is available. For eg current marketing literature, software manual etc.

3.) Define Scope

Define scope is another very important key area in scope management for pmp certification. You should focus on it during your exam preparation. Now this is logical that we have collected all the requirements from our stakeholder but not everything goes into the scope of the project. Some of the requirements are even vague and does not meet the objective of the project. So the benefit of having a define scope process is that it describes the project, service or result boundaries for which requirements will be included and which one will be excluded. This process is very critical to project success and very iterative in nature. The output of define scope leads to development of PROJECT SCOPE STATEMENT and some document updates which include the stakeholder register, requirements documentation and Traceability matrix etc.

PMP CERTIFICATION EXAM PREP TIP Its very logical in itself as when we are defining scope which means including and excluding requirements the requirements documentation and the traceability matrix and if we are moving some requirements out we might not need some stakeholders who suggested them hence we update the stakeholder register as well.

Now the major output is the Project Scope Statement, It is very different from the Project Charter. The project charter contains high level details of scope but scope statement contains full description, deliverables, assumptions, constraints and exclusions if any. The charter also contain some corporate level stuff like signing authority, budget, stakeholders etc but Project Scope Statement only worries about the SCOPE.

PMP CERTIFICATION EXAM PREP - SCOPE STATEMENT VS PROJECT CHARTER

PMP CERTIFICATION EXAM PREP – SCOPE STATEMENT VS PROJECT CHARTER

To reach to the deliverable – Project Scope statement several activities are carried out. Generally referred to as Tools and Techniques.

  • Expert Judgement
  • Product Analysis – Used when projects have products as deliverables. The product analysis means breaking the product into several deliverables and includes techniques like value engg, system engg, system analysis etc.
  • Alternative Generation – This is to generate as many alternatives or different ways to achieve the outcome. For eg using a diff technology or methodology to develop or execute.
  • Facilitated workshops – These are required as several stakeholders need to be on the same page . Cross functionals meetings are carried out so that every one has full understanding of the project.

4.) Create WBS (Work Breakdown Structure)

Now this is where the fun begins. this is also very important for your PMP CERTIFICATION EXAM PREP but also in real world ,this is where a lot of time is spent by Project managers and co-ordinators creating WBS, work packages and doing updates to the WBS. As we all know it becomes a quite easier to do the work when we have small goals but it becomes tough when the goal is huge and we might become overwhelmed by complexity and vastness of it. WBS reduces that and it is sued to divide the work into small chunks or more manageable components. The lowest level of WBS is called a work package. The work package is the lowest level activity  which can be tracked individually with cost and hours worked.

pmp certification exam prep scope management wbs work breakdown structure

PMP Certification Exam Prep – Work Breakdown Structure example

To create the WBS or the work breakdown structure  several inputs are required. These inputs are namely Scope management plan, Scope statement, Requirements documentation, enterprise environment factors and Organizational Process Assets.

PMP CERTIFICATION EXAM PREP TIP Logically the inputs can be remember like for creating WBS we need to have the Scope statement without the scope statement we dont know what work to break. For the scope statement we need the requirements documentation and the plan for it, which is the scope management plan. Some existing OPA could be used to create WBS like old templates, previous files etc and there are always enterprise factors which affect the WBS. The WBS represents all the product and project work. You should be able to roll up all all the work packages and nothing should be left outside. This is also called 100 percent rule.

There are two major tools and techniques used while developing the WBS they are :-

  • Decomposition – This is the technique which is used to divide the higher level requirements into smaller tasks. The levels in WBS vary depending on the complexity and size of the project. Decomposition of a deliverable which will be accomplished later in future needs not to be done at the very moment it could be done at later phase in project. This is also called rolling wave planning.
  • Expert Judgement – This is required as expertise is required to break the project/product into smaller work packages.

 

PMP CERTIFICATION EXAM PREP TIP  – The above four processes were all part of Planning process group, The remaining two processes Validate scope and Control scope are part of Monitoring and Controlling Process group.  There are no process in Initiation, execution and closing for Project Scope Management.

5.) Validate Scope

Some people always complain that PMP Certification exam prep requires a lot of cramming and trust me this is from majority of people who are PMP certified. What I say that its logical. Now consider validate scope,

WHEN DO YOU VALIDATE THE SCOPE

when you have done some work and you have a deliverable. Where are most of the deliverables produced, its produced during the execution phase. Is there an execution process in Project Scope Management knowledge area. See its all logical and thats my point of writing this long articles as I see a lot of people having trouble remembering the details. Now what is validate scope, this is more of a formal acceptance of the completed project deliverables. The verified deliverables(output of control quality, we will discuss later) are reviewed here with the customer/sponsor and he formally accepts it.

PMP CERTIFICATION EXAM PREP TIP – Dont confuse the validate scope scope process with control quality process as this process is more of signing off on the deliverable and control quality ensure the deliverables are developed correctly according to the specifications. These two processes may run in parallel.

So to validate the scope what techniques are used ?  The answer is very logical again.  How do you check a car that you just bought ?

You inspect it and if you are not the expert then you maybe call a friend or a mechanic then thats the same what we do in validating scope.

The tools and techniques are :-

  • Inspection – The deliverables are measured, examined whether they meet requirements and acceptance criteria. Inspection may also be called as reviews, audits or walkthroughs.
  • Group Decision Techniques – Discussed Here (link will be updated Shortly)

You may also need to know the following in order to validate the deliverable. These are your inputs :-

  • Project management plan
  • Requirements Documentation
  • Traceability Matrix
  • Verified Deliverables
  • Work Performance Data

Clearly without the documentation, matrix and deliverables how could you verify it.  The outputs of this process are :-

  • Accepted Deliverables – Of course  if not approved then
  • Change request  or
  • Work performance info – It includes information about project progress, and deliverable state etc.
  • Project Document Updates.

6.) Control Scope

The Control scope process monitors status of project, product scope, and the changes to the baseline. How controlling helps ? It helps by ensuring that whatever requested changes or preventive actions are taken for the scope they go through via the Integration change control process. If its not controlled then the scope could expand uncontrollably and this expansion in cost, time and resources is called SCOPE CREEP. You can also read my article on scope creep and how to avoid it.

PMP CERTIFICATION EXAM PREP TIP – The only tool and technique used in Control Scope is Variance Analysis . The process of variance analysis tells us the cause(not necessarily) and the degree of difference between the baseline and the actual performance. Based on variance analysis preventive or corrective measures are taken. for e.g. if project is 10k more than the baseline cost then some corrective measures need to be performed.

The inputs for Control Scope(Variance Analysis) are :-

  • Project Management Plan – The Project management plan will let us know the scope baseline, scope management plan, change management plan, configuration management plan, requirements management plan.
  • Requirements Documentation –
  • Traceability matrix –
  • Work performance data – It may include the number of change request received, accepted, completed etc.
  • Organizational Process Assets –

The outputs of Control Scope are

  • Work performance information
  • Change requests
  • Project Management Plan Updates _ mainly scope baseline updates(Scope, WBS and WBS dictionary) . Cost and schedule baseline may also be updated.
  • Project Document Updates and O.P.A updates.

So these are free PMP certification exam prep notes for Scope Management, hope they are useful to me as they were to me. If you have question, concerns leave comment for me and I will get back to you. Subscribe to my blog for my other notes and Free PMP certification exam prep Questions. I will be starting a section for PMP prep practice test soon but it will be based on the response I get from the readers.

Akash Deep Singh

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