Project Scope Statement – How to Define Scope in Your Project?

Project Scope Statement captures all the project work that you and your team is going to do, to fulfill the project requirements and the stakeholder needs. Project Scope statement is the primary output of Define Scope process in the project scope management knowledge area.

That means you and your team must go through the requirements document in greater detail to understand what work is require to fulfill the project and stakeholder needs.

Project Scope Statement - Ouput of Define Scope Process

Project Scope Statement – Ouput of Define Scope Process

Project scope statement is so important, because this will stand as a common document of reference for any scope clarifications in future for all the project stakeholders.

So, you write down all the work that you are going do and the work that you are not going to do as part of the project in the project scope statement.

Another important information that you capture in project scope statement is the deliverables that you are going to deliver as part of the project. Also you write down the assumptions and constraints pertaining to the scope.

Many project issues occur due to unclear scope definitions in the project.  We have seen about scope creep and gold plating in the previous post and how to avoid such situations in the project.

We will see in a while, that project scope statement is the primary output of Define Scope process.

When to Perform Define Scope Process

When to perform define scope process? This determines the inputs to the define scope process.

Define Scope Process - When to Perform

Define Scope Process – When to Perform?

Project charter is an important input to this process. Project charter already contains the high level scope and the deliverable agreed during the initial phases of the project. So project charter is certainly, a good candidate to start with. Hence the output of develop project charter is an input to define scope process.

Stakeholder Register contains the list of stakeholders that you identify when preparing the charter. So again stakeholder register will help to plan the stakeholder meetings to discuss and agree on the scope.

Plan scope management process outputs the scope management plan, which tells you the approach of how to perform the rest of the scope management processes.

Requirements document is the primary input to collect requirements process, as this provides a clear view what work you must do as part of the project to fulfill the project needs. As we have seen, collect requirements process will produce the requirements documentation.

Project Scope Statement – Primary Output of Define Scope Process

Once we collect the requirements, you must work with the team to understand what work you require to fulfill the requirements.

There are two outputs of define scope process. They are project scope statement and project document updates.

As we have seen earlier, the primary inputs of define scope process are the outputs of develop project charter, plan scope management and collect requirements processes.

Project Scope Statement - Define Scope Process ITTOs

Project Scope Statement – Define Scope Process ITTOs


  • Project charter contains a high level description of the project scope, the deliverables in the project, and important or high level milestones of the project. So project charter would be a good starting point to define scope process.
  • Scope management plan tells you how to perform the rest of the scope management processes. In this case you would get to know how to perform define scope process in your project.
  • The team must analyze the requirements documentation to understand the requirements in more detail to figure the work to be done to fulfill them.
  • Organizational process assets might have historical templates of project scope statements from historic projects, which may be of help instead of starting everything from scratch.

Tools & Techniques

  • Facilitated Workshops – It is important to have Facilitated workshops with the stakeholders to understand the stakeholder needs and set and define the scope objectively instead of subjectively. Meaning that your project goals should be measurable.
  • Product Analysis – Product Analysis is about what product requires. Project scope should contain what the product needs are, so that, you don’t miss out any of the product requirements from the project scope.
  • Alternative Generation – Most of the times, you will have multiple alternative ways of doing a work. So, think about all the alternate ways of doing the work. And finally select the optimal way based on the parameters and justification of best possible alternative.
  • Expert Judgement – Taking help from experts, who dealt with the similar process of creating the project scope statements in other projects.


The plan scope management process produces two outputs.

  • Project Scope Statement – Project scope statement tells you all the work that must be done, to successfully complete the project.
  • Update to Project Documents – During define scope process, if you identify any scope changes then you update the relevant project documents.

Project Scope Statement – Example

Project Scope Statement Example

Project Scope Statement Example

A project scope statement typically contains the following:

  • Objective or purpose of the project – Background about the project
  • Product Scope – Product scope contains the features and needs of the product.
  • Project Scope (In Scope and Out of Scope) – Project scope in addition to the product scope. All scope items must be measurable. Also list out the out of scope items, so that stakeholders are clear with these items.
  • List of Deliverables – The list of deliverables that you must be deliver as part of the project. If the project executes in a staggered way then, list out the deliverables for each iteration/phase.
  • Acceptance criteria – Acceptance criteria agreed with the stakeholders. This would be a collection of measurable KPIs. The way that you measure these KPIs, typically the formulas are also listed here, so that all the stakeholders are on same page in terms of how to measure them.
  • Project Constraints – Limitations of the project, you must consider.
  • Project Assumptions – Any assumptions considered during the scope definitions. Stakeholders must validate the assumptions to make them concrete statement, so that no surprises occur later in the project.

Project Scope Statement Vs Requirements Documentation

Although it is confusing, Project scope statement and the requirements documentation are two different documents with different purposes.

Primarily requirements document captures your project requirements. These are typically product requirements, stakeholder needs and organization goals for the project.

On the other hand, project scope statement describes what work must be done to fulfill the project requirements.  In other words, scope defines the boundaries of your project, what is in scope and what is not. Also what deliverables to be deliver, etc.


Project Scope statement is the primary output of define scope process in project scope management knowledge area.

Primary inputs to Define scope process are project charter, scope management plan, requirements documentation.

Tools and techniques used in define scope process are facilitated workshops, product analysis, alternative generation, and expert analytics.

Project scope statement typically contains, the project scope, out of scope items, deliverables, acceptance criteria, constraints, and assumptions.

Finally, we have seen the differences between the requirements document and the project scope statement.

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