Scope planning uses the output of the initiation process, the project charter, to create the scope statement and the scope management plan. The project scope statement is the basis for many of the other planning processes. It is also the basis for setting the boundaries of the project with the client and stakeholders.
A scope statement includes project justification, project description, major deliverables, time and cost estimates, success criteria, assumptions, and constraints. The scope management plan documents how you will manage changes to the scope. The work breakdown structure (WBS) is created by taking the major deliverables from the scope statement and decomposing them into smaller, more manageable components. The breakdown continues through multiple levels until the components can be estimated and resourced. Each lower level of deliverables includes the components that produce the next highest level in the tree. The lowest level of decomposition is the work package. The WBS includes all of the work required to complete the project. Any deliverable not listed on the WBS is assumed to be excluded from the project. The WBS is one of the most critical outputs of planning. A WBS is the basis for time estimates, cost estimates, and resource assignments.
Certain elements in IT shops need to be taken into account when dealing with IT projects. The size of the IT shop very definitely affects the project’s time estimates, as do deliverables that may be challenging to define. Business clients may have some hidden processes —“sidebars” that they’ve not revealed when you’re busy trying to discover the processes. Success criteria can be especially tough to define in IT projects. A key project team member leaving can have a remarkable affect on the status of the project’s scope.