Defining Project Scope

A dictionary meaning of word 'Scope' equates as an extent, range of view, work, perception, thought or actions.

In general terms, project scope is a task or work that needs to be accomplishing to deliver the product or services with the agreed features and functions. It defines the tasks that need to be included or excluded from the project.

The scope is defined at two levels: High-Level and Low-Level. High-level is defined within the project charter and Low-level is defined in the business requirement.

The project scope gets documented in the scope management plan. The project scope management plan is a standard document to define, control and manage the scope of the project. This document tells in detail about the project requirement and is used to share with all the stakeholders. This is one of the important and crucial sections of the project management plan. It helps to determine time and cost.

What is the benefit of defining project scope? Think about - Project without scope.

Project scope defines a clear boundary of your work or services that needs to be performed. It helps us to understand the client expectation, removes any assumptions, and provides a detail description of the product or services that needs to be delivered. Project scope is the breath of the project management plan. It shows a clear vision of your project. With the help of project scope a project manager can able to tell the time and cost require to complete the work. A good project manager always asks for project scope before calculating the efforts to completion (ETC).

A well define project scope reduces the risks of your project deliverables and increases the success of your project. The project scope must be defined both at business level and at implementation level for each task and activities. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) helps to define the project scope at each task and activity level. It is a graphical representation of the hierarchy of the project. WBS is the process to break the object into smaller components using decomposition techniques.

It is important to periodically review your project scope with your customers and other stakeholders to keep your project goal aligned with your customer's expectation. The project manager must be able to control the scope change and should be smart enough to differentiate between scope change and change requests. A major change in scope at a later stage will lead to high risk, high cost and increased timeline. This will significantly impact your business in terms of customer's trust and belief.

The SAP project scope is defined during the phase of project preparation and blueprint. You can define business function scope in the solution manager under the business blueprint or configuration section. For example you can define the organizational unit that fall under the scope.

It is always a good approach to have a high-level scope define before writing the RFP. There are different phases in which scope can be define and discuss further. For Example - the project scope can also be discussed during QA&db phase.

SAP has provided an extensive tools like - ASAP Methodology (Accelerate SAP), ValueSAP, and now Solution Manager to implement SAP Project. Accelerated SAP and ValueSAP are external to the SAP application, but Solution Manager is an in-built within SAP and incorporates the tools and resources available in the SAP ASAP “toolkit”.

During the project preparation phase, you can define the initial project scope within the Enterprise Area Scope Document. This is based on the R/3 Reference Model and can be generated using the Project Estimator. At this point project scope is defined from both at business and IT view.

The implementation manager can further dip down to move the scope at development level for each deliverables.







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