Scope Management: A Guide To Perfecting The Control Scope Process
The control scope process is a very important step in the Scope Management knowledge area of the Project Management Professional exam. PMP certification candidates might have already seen some references and questions about it on their PMP study guide, but if you haven’t taken any Project Management Professional course or training yet, looking for one that can give you a useful and basic rundown of this concept, as well as the rest of Scope Management process, would be ideal.
This article will take a deep dive into the five scope control management processes and guide you through everything you need to know about scope control methods.
What Is The Control Scope Process?
Before we get into the details of how to perfect this phase of Scope Management, let’s start by describing the Control Scope Process and what it does.
The Control Scope Process is the last step in Scope Management and it refers to inspecting the condition of the project and administering any changes or variants being applied to the scope baseline. Once the scope is completed within the project, it has to be checked the whole way through to be able to successfully predict whether the project will be successful and every goal will be reached.
Basically, the control scope process is in charge of following the project from start to finish and keeping it on track on its way to success.
Here’s How The Control Scope Process Looks Like
- Process of monitoring the status of the project and product scope and managing changes to the scope baseline.
- Measuring project and product scope performance and managing scope baseline changes.
- To control scope:
- Scope definition must be clear
- Work must be completed
No project is safe from changes. No matter how much you plan, there will always be unpredictable situations that will lead to having to make some changes to your project. After they are checked and authorized by the change control board, it’s time to apply them to the project. The control scope process manages these changes to the scope baseline.
Scope control methods are what project managers use to ensure a project remains on budget and on time, being able to see any roadblocks, issues or unexpected expenses spiraling out of control before they become a critical problem. The control scope is there to measure the scope itself and once a deliverable is finished can be run to test if the final deliverable is within scope or has issues that must be addressed.
Without this critical task, the final project and the originally planned project could become vastly different, both funding and timewise, if a control scope process isn’t run on the deliverables as they progress. This is why it’s important to use the control scope process, as preventing these issues is much easier, cheaper and efficient than trying to correct them after-the-fact.
Scope Management: What Is Needed Before The Control Scope Process?
Before you can control the scope, you must understand the scope. Without a clear understanding of the requirements, deliverables and definition of the project the scope will always be too open-ended to control.
Along with this, to perform a full control scope process you must have a finished deliverable that you can run it on. The process is designed to test the final against the baseline.
The Control Scope Process Methodology
There are five scope control management processes:
- Measure performance against scope baseline.
- Determine the magnitude of variances.
- Decide whether corrective/preventive action is needed
- Updates to scope baseline, project management plan or project documents
- Impact of changes should be evaluated
Going in order, first we must check what was delivered against the original scope. Did it follow all the requirements, did it remain in budget, is it what the stakeholders were expecting and done in the time expected?
Secondly, we must determine the size of any of these differences: Even if it’s under budget or ahead of schedule, taking note of these elements is important for future projections for the project as a whole.
If the deliverable has such a degree of difference to what was written down in the original scope, a decision must be made as to what changes are needed to ensure the other parts of the project do not follow suit. Keeping the deliverables in scope is essential, as even if one section balloons beyond its capability, it can put a strain on the entire project.
Following this, the scope baseline itself must be updated with the information gleaned from the Control Scope Process. Should there be significant changes made due to the variances discovered, the base scope may need to be altered, with the plans for the entire project possibly shifting. With enough support and organization the project can get back on track.
The final phase is evaluating how much of an impact on the project these changes have caused. Following a control scope process there can be several outcomes, including change requests for additional funding, time, assets or staff to fill in any gaps. All of these changes need to be tested which a change control board will be in charge of approving or declining and checking what level of impact these changes would have on the project.
Integrating The Control Scope Process Along With Performing Integrated Change Control Process
You may be wondering, how does the control scope process work with the integrated change control process? You wouldn’t be alone! As we’ve written above, the Control Scope Process is designed to find and resolve issues before a complete project is delivered, while the Integrated Change Control Process is designed to manage the aftermath of the difference in project resources due to the variance in the deliverable and baseline scope that was intended.
It’s also worth noting that changes and issues do not solely arise from mistakes or mis budgeting of time or resources, sometimes clients or senior staff will ask for additions or changes in the middle of the project, which is something the Integrated Change Control Process will help organize, as this will definitely involve changing the scope of the project.
These are the reasons to use the integrated change control process. When studying for the PMP it’s good to know this is part of the integration management knowledge section.