What is project scope?
Project scope refers to the detailed set of deliverables or features of a project. These deliverables are derived from a project's requirements. The project scope is the part of project planning that involves determining and documenting a list of specific project goals, deliverables, tasks, costs, and deadlines.
Put simply, a project scope outlines what needs to be achieved and the work that must be done to deliver a project.
What is a Project Scope Statement?
As the name suggests, a project scope statement is a document that clearly defines the boundaries of a project. It outlines the project's goals, deliverables, tasks, deadlines, and resources. Defining these elements helps to set expectations and align stakeholders. It is a critical piece of documentation that helps to manage stakeholder expectations and control project scope creep – the tendency for the project scope to expand beyond its original objectives.
Build the ultimate project plan
6 steps to define your project’s scope
1. Identify key stakeholders
It's crucial to understand who has a vested interest in the project's outcome. Stakeholders can influence the direction of your project, and their input and approval are often essential for moving forward. They also provide critical insights into project requirements and can be your best advocates when presenting project outcomes. Identifying stakeholders early ensures you have the necessary buy-in and support, and that everyone’s expectations are aligned from the start.
2. Define project objectives
Clear objectives lay the foundation for a successful project. By setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) objectives, you create a roadmap that guides every aspect of the project, from planning to execution. These objectives provide a clear focus, drive engagement among team members, and make it easier to measure and report on project progress.
3. Outline project deliverables
Outlining the project deliverables provides a clear view of what the project will produce. It helps to align your team and stakeholders around what success looks like for the project. Each deliverable should directly contribute to achieving the project objectives. Without a clear understanding of the deliverables, the project can easily stray off track.
4. Determine project requirements
Detailing the requirements necessary to complete each deliverable helps to define the scope of the project. This includes tasks, resources, and specific technologies or materials needed. By clearly defining these requirements, you help prevent misunderstandings or assumptions that could lead to scope creep.
5. Establish project boundaries
Defining what is in scope (and just as importantly, what is out of scope) sets the boundaries for the project. This prevents misunderstandings, aligns expectations, and guards against scope creep. The goal is to provide clarity and avoid any potential disagreements later in the project about what was supposed to be delivered.
6. Create the project scope statement
After completing the first five steps, it's time to compile the information into a clear, concise, and detailed project scope statement. This document serves as a single source of truth for your project scope and should be shared with all stakeholders to ensure everyone is on the same page.
By going through these steps, you can establish a strong foundation for your project that aligns your team, satisfies your stakeholders, and steers your project towards a successful conclusion.
Project scope statement template
This template shows an example of what a Project Scope Statement might look like. You can use it as inspiration for your own statement, or you can get started straight away with this Project Scope Statement template on Craft.
Project Title: Website Redesign for XYZ Company
- Increase site traffic by 20% within six months of launch.
- Improve user engagement metrics (time on site, pages per visit) by 30% within three months of launch.
- Enhance lead conversion rates by 15% within three months of launch.
- A fully responsive, SEO-friendly website.
- Integration of social media channels.
- Implementation of a lead capture mechanism (e.g., newsletter signup, contact form).
- Migration of existing blog content to the new platform.
- Training materials and sessions for XYZ's staff to update site content.
- Project management using Craft Docs.
- Design software for mockups and prototypes.
- SEO tools for keyword research and optimization.
- Stakeholder feedback and approval at each stage of the project.
- In Scope: Website design, content migration, SEO optimization, and training.
- Out of Scope: Ongoing website maintenance post-launch, social media marketing, paid advertising.
- XYZ Company Leadership: Approves major project decisions and provides resources.
- Marketing Department: Provides input on branding, messaging, and SEO.
- IT Department: Assists with technical requirements and website hosting.
- Design and Development Team: Responsible for the creation and implementation of the new website.
By creating a comprehensive project scope statement, you ensure everyone involved in the project has a clear understanding of its objectives, deliverables, and requirements. This helps to keep your project on track, within its boundaries and ultimately leads to successful project completion.