Project scope tools
Project scope tools
The Statement of Scope (SOS) and the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) are tools used to manage project scope.
What is a Statement of Scope?
The Statement of Scope (SOS) is a formal statement—agreed by all key stakeholders before the project starts—that outlines:
- the project’s justification
- its scope
- what it will produce (deliverables), and the criteria they must meet
- any assumptions and constraints.
The SOS provides a baseline for negotiating any later change to scope.
What is a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
A Work breakdown Structure formally displays, in chart form, the work described in the SOS. As the project change control process must be used to change it, it acts as a control on scope creep.
It shows what work is to be done—not when or how. It depicts the project’s deliverables (or outcomes) not the tasks and activities needed to produce these. It also includes an accompanying dictionary for clarification.
It looks a bit like an organisational chart, but its function is quite different.
A WBS helps to allocate resources and to check there is no omission or overlap in the deliverables listed.
The ‘main branch’ of the WBS is the project. This breaks down into itemised smaller ‘branches’ (the deliverables), each of which breaks down into itemised pieces of work, called work packages.
Work packages are geared to be done by one person, or one team. They can be measured in terms of their time, budget and resources requirements. When managing scope, it is the work packages that a Project Manager monitors.
Two rules apply in developing a WBS:
- the 100% rule: the WBS must account for 100% of the work outlined in the project scope, no less and no more
- the 8/80 rule: of the smallest work packages, none should take under 8 hours or over 80 hours to complete.
Using this WBS as a model, suggest its form be replicated for a different task – say 0.0 Clean kitchen. Then, using the format shown, select kitchen-related tasks, broken down from large to small as here. Change wording and appearance for copyright reasons.
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