Scope Management


by Steven Macdessi



All the relevant information necessary to produce a satisfactory outcome (building/structure)

“SCOPE” is also often referred to as “THE EXTENT OF WORKS.”
If the works can’t be identified how can they be managed and therefore completed?


The Scope or extent of works can be either “expressed” or “implied”.

Expressed:    Specifically written (or drawn) details.

For example:
Invitations to tender (tender documents),
Tender /quotation submission,
Acceptance / agreement / contract,
Requests for information (RFI)
Provisional Sum/Prime Cost Advice Notes
Manufacturer’s Instructions/Manuals etc.
Client formal instructions

Acts of Parliament (State & Federal),
Law (Adjoining owners, Public Liability)
B.C.A. (Fire Safety, Health and Amenity).
Council Requirements;
Development Approval.
Building Consent (Construction Certificate)
Australian Standards
OH&R Regulations

It is difficult at times to identify accurately all of the work necessary. Therefore managing scope can be often complicated. “Scope Management” involves the effective managing of the initial project information as well as any changes to the design &/or contract which occur during the progress of the works. It necessitates an understanding of planning how scope is to be identified then managed.

Scope management incorporates highlighting the extent of the works and relating that detail effectively to all those likely to effect the desired outcome. It requires the establishment of systems, processes and procedures that can identify changes to the scope and then be able to effectively relay those changes onto all of the parties who need to know and/or are affected by such changes. It involves ensuring everyone involved is acutely aware of the initial scope and any subsequent changes. Scope Management is essential to the attainment “quality”.

This is concerned with defining the project, its purpose and objectives, and identifying all the relevant work to be accomplished so that the project can be successful.

The major processes of scope management are:-
1.    Collect Requirements
2.    Define Scope
3.    Create WBS
4.    Scope Verification,
5.    Scope Change Control.

Collect requirements is the process of defining and documenting stakeholders’ (eg clients) needs to meet the project objectives.

The project’s success is directly influenced by the care taken in capturing and managing project and product requirements.

Depending on the stage of the project, project objectives can be included in concept drawings, DA drawings, benchmarks, etc.

This is the process of developing a written scope statement as the basis of future project decisions including, in particular, the criteria used to determine if the project or phase (stage) has been completed satisfactorily.
The importance of defining the scope is to:-
a)    Define the boundary of the works and confirm common understanding among stakeholders,
b)    Form the basis of agreement between the client and the contractor by identifying both the project objectives and the major deliverables,
c)    Be a guide and constraint for the configuration management process influencing change control.

A written “Scope Statement” is used to briefly identify the wprks to be carried out. It is a concise, yet complete, description of the works.

The “Scope Statement” should include reference to:
type of construction (form of structure),
size (area, levels, length, rooms)
location (if applicable),
particular materials,
specialized building systems,
standard of finishes,
unique characteristics.

An experienced construction professional should be almost able to draw the project in his head from the statement provided. A commonly used scope statement between the Client and the Builder is the “Principal’s Project Requirements” (PPR) which forms part of the building contract.

Create WBS is the process of outlining how the project will be built, by subdividing the major project deliverables and project work into smaller, more manageable components.

WBS will identify each trade that is required for the project and the works they are required to carry out.

The process of formalizing acceptance of the project scope by the client and stakeholders.

The scope of work should be formally verified at the end of each phase of a project.
From a builder’s point of view it should definitely be verified at the time of tendering, at the time of endorsing the contract, when works commence and of course during the construction stage where variations may have occurred.

Scope can be verified by way of inspections such as measuring, examining and certification to determine whether the work meets the requirements defined in the scope.

All projects are subjected to changes during their life cycle. “Scope Change Control” is the process of identifying and managing change to the building works during the project’s duration.

Scope Change Control involves:-
a)    Influencing the factors, which create scope changes, to ensure that changes are ultimately beneficial to the project,
b)    Determining that a scope change has occurred,
c)    Managing the actual changes when and if they occur

Variations (changes to the scope)
Changes or “Variations” are a generally accepted occurrence in the construction industry and most standard forms of building agreement cater for changes to the scope. Such changes however need to be managed in accordance with that contract.

One essential feature of a Scope Management System is the early recognition that the scope of the works will invariably change during the duration of any contract and it is the function of the Scope Management System to identify, record, initiate and monitor the variations to the initial scope.


PMI (2008), A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), 4th Ed, Project Management Institute, Newtown Square, PA.

Jun 2011

Steps To Determine Project Success and Failure

Success is something that is desired by any business and company since they started. You’ve heard a lot of different stories on how they achieve success. One of the ways is to start with the specific by achieving project success. The project success and failure can be influenced by different factors. There are specific processes by which you can achieve project success and they can be availed from the experts. The common connotation that the bigger the project the chance of failing it is also bigger can be partly true since there are lots of responsibilities that you need to accomplish. But you can make use of this as a motivation in proving them wrong through the use of the important determinants of project success and failure.

The success and failure of your project can be determined by different criteria. The following are some of the steps that can determine the project success and failure.

1. Find out the scope of the project.

Scope is simply the works needed to complete the project. To ascertain the scope, you need to either express it by writing it or imply it. Managing the scope is a critical task since in determining project success and failure because you cannot identify all of the necessary tasks.

2. Collection of requirements.


This particular step is actually falls under the scope management and including the others that will follow. They are enumerated individually since they contribute specifically to the project success and failure. This step includes the act of ascertaining the needs of the stakeholder or the client. Collecting the requirements in well manner can directly influence the success and failure of the project.

3. Come up with Work Breakdown Structure.

Work breakdown structure is bringing the whole project into specifics. It includes the outline of the plan on how the project will be put up and determining the smaller parts of it. Like for an instance, dividing the deliverables and other small components comprises the work breakdown structure. Doing this right or not can also affect the project success and failure.

4. Verifying the scope.

Since you know the definition of scope and its importance, it is just to consider if it is accepted by the client. There are many ways to verify the scope of the project including at the time of presenting the contract, during the construction and after it has been built. Scope verification is an essential factor that can contribute greatly to the project success and failure.

These are some of the many determinants of project success and failure. And these are proven by experts as reliable steps in carrying out a project. You can have these and many of them can be found from the vast of online sites. Project success and failure is certainly influenced by many factors, steps, processes, etc. But the most important thing is that you are aware of them and you can make use of them to help you out in figuring out the project success and failure.

Jul 2010