We are into third and last article on Scope Management. In the previous two articles we have covered Plan Scope Management, Collect Requirements, Define Scope and Create WBS processes and we are left with two more processes namely Validate Scope and Control Scope. Let us start looking at them.
Validate Scope is the process in which the completed deliverables are accepted formally. Each and every deliverable is verified and accepted. Verified deliverables are reviewed with customer to ensure that they are developed as per agreed objectives and completed to the satisfaction. In order to get the deliverables verified against agreed objectives we need scope baseline, Scope statement, work Performance Data to use a basis for verification. Let us look into the inputs to this process.
- We know that deliverables are accepted by the customer in this process and for that the deliverables are verified internally for their completeness. So, verified deliverables forms one of the inputs.
- Scope baseline and Scope management plan are part of Project management plan.
- Deliverables and their acceptance criteria are defined in Requirement Documents.
- Requirements to deliverables are mapped in traceability matrix;so it is also one of the inputs.
- Compliance and non-compliance information, validations and number of cycles required validating and other work performance data is also taken into account.
So, Project Management Plan, Verified Deliverables, Work performance information, Traceability Matrix, Requirement documents are the inputs to this process.
We started our discussion saying that in this process, completed and verified deliverables are accepted formally. So it is understood that Accepted Deliverables are one of the outputs. Accepted deliverables are those which meet acceptance criteria and formally approved or signed off by customer or sponsor. Acceptance acknowledgement is formally sent and is later used in Close Project process.
When we say that deliverables are verified and accepted, there is always a chance that couple of deliverables might get rejected or not accepted fully. This might be due to the deliverable not meeting the acceptance criteria, requirement not met or any other reason. Reasons for not accepting the deliverable is documented and those unaccepted deliverables may undergo a change process by raising a change request or a defect. So Change Requests are also one of the outputs of this process.
We will also get to an understanding on what deliverables are accepted, what are not accepted, which work packets are in progress, Status of other deliverables, project status what is called as work performance related information. This is another output from this process.
Due to the verify and accept process, there may come changes which may demand updating the documents.
So Accepted Deliverables, Change Requests, Work performance information, Document updates are the outputs from the validate scope process
Inspection and Group decision making are the techniques used to process the inputs taken and to produce the outputs. Inspection is to examine measure and validate whether the project objectives are being met and deliverables are meeting acceptance criteria or not. To do that review, audits, workshops and walkthroughs might be part of inspection. Group decision making is used to come to a conclusion and take decision when verification and validation is performed.
Next in order is Control Scope. This is a process of monitoring and managing. Monitoring how the project is progressing, status of project, Scope and scope changes, etc., and managing them. This process will allow maintaining constant scope throughout the project. If something unwanted is observed, this process ensures that corrective or preventive actions are taken and the project is brought onto track. Control scope will also deal with integrated change control especially when there is a change to the scope. Uncontrolled expansion to the product or project scope without adjustments to time, cost, and resources is referred to as SCOPE CREEP.
Let us look into inputs to Control Scope and for that let us use our common sense. As we have just read that this process monitors and manages project scope and changes, we can easily make out that Project Management Plan, Requirement Documents, Work performance data and traceability matrix are inputs. It is very easy…isn’t it? If you are not feeling so, then it is time for you to go back and learn a bit about them. Project Management Plan contains:
- Scope baseline
- Scope management plan
- Change management plan
- Configuration management plan
- Requirement management plan
Now it might make sense to you after looking at the subsidiary plans. They give respective information to be used to control and manage the scope. Well documented requirements are easy to monitor and manage. Deviations can be easily identified due to the wellness of the documents. In the same it is very useful and needed to know about the change request, accepted deliverables etc. what we call as work performance information.
At last it is important to know about the requirements scope related policies (if exists), procedures, Reporting requirements and templates to use for all the purposes. All these form Organization Process Assets as one of the inputs.
So, Project Management Plan, Requirements documentation, Requirements Traceability Matrix, Work performance Data, Organizational Process assets are the inputs to this process.
Now what are the outputs? When we are monitoring and managing the process to see that things will go as planned and expected, and if something is observed to go out of limits, and then we may take some corrective or preventive actions to bring the project back into track. So corrective or preventive actions might be in the form of a change request. Change Requests are one of the outputs. We also need to have information about how work is progressing, what deliverables are accepted, which deliverables are about to be finished what we call as work performance information. Updates to project documents and Project Management plan is expected as there is a fair chance of scope change due to approved change request. If there is a change to scope, then scope baseline, WBS and WBS dictionary have to be changed.
So, Change requests, Project management plan update, project document updates, work performance information and organization process assets updates (as corrective or preventive actions are taken the reasons are documented in lessons learnt) are the outputs from this process.
Now it’s time to know about the tools and techniques used. To your surprise it is only one technique used in this process. We have agreed performance and we have actual performance. Validate scope process is to analyse and understand the difference between agreed and actual what we technically call as Variance Analysis. Depending on the outcome of analysis respective action is planned and executed. So, it is only one technique VARIANCE ANALYSIS
Just to recap the Scope management, it is made up of 5 processes as below.
- Plan Scope Management
- Collect Requirements
- Define Scope
- Create WBS
- Validate Scope
- Control Scope
Just a note to the readers. As we have discussed the above processes in the same order, it doesn’t mean that they occur in the same order and only in the same order. They may occur in any order and in one another.
Questions & Answers
- Project requirements are exploding in an unimagined way and scope expansion has become uncontrollable. But the project condition is such that we can’t alter any of the factors like time, cost and schedule. What are we speaking about here?
- Control Scope
- Validate Scope
- Scope Creep
- Requirements Management Plan
Correct Answer: C [ Scope creep is the situation given in question]
- Your team is getting internally verified deliverables reviewed by sponsor to deliver it and secure a formal acceptance. In which process the team is in?
- Close project
- Validate Scope
- Verify Scope
- Control Scope
Correct Answer: B [ It is the main purpose of validate scope process].
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