May 4, 2012

PM0011 [Project Planning & Scheduling] Set2 Q1

Question 1: Describe the four scope elements listed by PMBOK.


Answer:
The scope is the most important element to understand about any project. All planning and allocation of resources are anchored to this understanding. Scope creep is a significant risk in software development projects. We discuss why this is so, and how to avoid or at least mitigate the risk. New software is usually developed as a result of a customer identifying a need. The next step is to specify how the software will meet that need; specifically, what functionality will be developed. The scope and budget are set, the team knows what they're delivering, and everyone is ready to begin.


The Project Management Institute Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) defines product scope as the features and functions that are to be included in a product or service. It defines project scope as the work that must be done to deliver a product with the specified features and functions. Project scope management is defined as the processes required to ensure that the project includes all the work required, and only the work required, to complete the project successfully.

The PMBOK Guide addresses four elements related to scope: 
Scope: Scope is the summation of all deliverables required as part of the project. This includes all products, services and results.

Project Scope: 
This is the work that must be completed to achieve the final scope of the project, namely the products, services and end results.

Scope Statement: 
This is a document that provides the basis for making future decisions such as scope changes. The intended use of the document is to make sure that all stakeholders have a common knowledge of the project scope. Included in the document are the objectives, description of the deliverables, end result or project, and justification of the project. The scope statement addresses seven questions who, what, when, why, where, how and how money. This document validates the project scope against the statement of work provided by the customer.

Statement of Work:
The statement of work (SOW) is a narrative description of the work required for the project. The complexity of the SOW is determined by the desires of top management, the customer, and / or user groups. A statement of work describes the actual work that is going to be performed on the project which, when combined with specifications, usually from the basis for a contractual agreement on the project. As a derivative of the WBS, the statement of work (sometimes called scope of work) describes what is going to be accomplished, a description of the tasks, and the deliverable end products that will be produced, such as hardware, software, tests, documentation and training.


The statement of work also includes reference to specifications, directives or standards, that is, the guidance to be followed in the project work. The statement of work includes input required from other tasks involving the project and a key element of the customer „s request for proposal there can be misinterpretation of the statement of work which can affect the results of the project adversary.

Common causes of misinterpretation are:
  • Mixing tasks, specifications, approvals, and special instructions.
  • Using imprecise language (“nearly, “optimum”, “approximately” etc.”).
  • No pattern, structure or chorological order.
  • Wide variation in size of tasks. 
  • Wide variation in how to describe details of the work.
  • Failing to get third party review. 

Misinterpretations of the statement of work can and will occur no matter, how careful everyone has been, the result is creeping scope. Which is likely to upset costs and schedules? The best way to control creeping scope is with a good definition of requirements up front.

Integration: 

The project control process is built on the concepts of integrating data related to scope, performing organization, and cost and of producing performance metrics by assimilating and evaluating all information on a common basis. It is the responsibility of the project manager to integrate the efforts of the assigned human resources, the variety of equipment supplies, and materials and the technologies to produce the project deliverables on schedule within the budget.

The amount of integration a project requires is a function of several factors:

  • The number of components. The more components there are to a project, the more effort that needs to be spent on integration. The team components refers to physical parts or systems, to different functional contributions (e.g. marketing, finance, production), as well as to different vested interests of stakeholders (e.g. environmental impact, economic development, technology transfer).
  • The degree to which the projects components are different from each other. 
  • These differences may be differences in functional specialization. For example, marking, production and financial components of a commercial project on the differences may originate from the different technologies used in producing the different components or sub systems of a physical product.

Business need for a Scope change:

The must be valid business purpose for a scope change. This includes the following factors at a minimum:
  • An assessment of the customer’s needs and the added value that the scope charge will provide.
  • An assessment of the market needs including the time required to make the scope change, the payback period, return on investment, and whether the final product selling price will be overpriced for the market.
  • An assessment on the impact on the length of the product life cycle.
  • An assessment on the competitions ability to initiate the scope change.
  • Is there a product liability associate with the scope change and can it impact over image? 

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