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Example of a Scope Management Standard

Posted Jul 02 2009 6:31pm
One process which can be established by the PMO is a scope management standard. This process can be a guideline for each project manager to utilize on their project. The decision guidelines should be review with the executive sponsor and project sponsor along with it leadership. Without further ado, here is a sample scope management standard.

Change Request
Scope Change Management Standards

Change Request - A request for a change in the scope of a project or program

Many projects have ended in failure due to an inability to effectively manage scope. The user's original requirements may not be properly bounded or scope creep is not controlled. The result is a loss of project control.

Scope expansion is acceptable if:
  • Stakeholders agree new requirements are justified
  • Impact to the project is analyzed and understood
  • Resulting changes (i.e., cost, timing, quality, and human resources) are approved and properly implemented


The primary tools used to manage scope are the project scope definition and the change request log. The project scope specifies the original agreement between the project team and the project sponsor. Change requests are created to document any subsequent change to this baseline scope, and are tracked using the change request log.

Accountability and Responsibility

The project manager is accountable for a project's scope management process. All scope change requests must flow through this process, allowing the project manager to discuss the materiality and impact of the requested change on the project and associated budget, resources and timing.

Process Steps:
  1. Identify and Evaluate the Scope Change Request
    Any member of the project team or project stakeholders may submit a scope change request. The scope change request identifier must complete and submit the following information at a minimum:
    • Description for the Change
    • Reason for the Change
    • Business Benefits
    • Impact of Inaction
    • Alternatives
    A Change Owner will then be assigned. The Change Owner is then responsible for the change evaluation, which includes evaluating:
    • Schedule Impacts
    • Cost Impacts
    • Resource Impacts
    • Impacts to Project Risk
    • Impacts to Project Quality
    • Impacts to Customer Satisfaction
  2. Submit the Scope Change Request
    The submitted scope change request is retained in the project specific file within information services project shared directory.
  3. Screen the Scope Change Request
    The project manager must screen the scope change request to assess two components: whether the scope change request should be accepted, rejected, merged or associated with another scope change request, or deferred. Secondly determine whether the scope change request belongs at the project, initiative or program level.
  4. Assign the Scope Change Request for Research
    The project manager or initiative owner where appropriate, is responsible for assigning an owner to each scope change request so that its resolution can be researched and further documented. At the time of the assignment, an estimated completion date should be identified and tracked.
  5. Research the Scope Change Request
    As part of researching the scope change request, the assigned researcher should identify and contact each of the parties that need to have input into the recommended solution. The analysis of the scope change request and recommended alternatives should be given to the appropriate decision maker and the project manager.
  6. Approve Scope Change Request
    The project manager or initiative owner who owns the scope change request will follow the guidelines for approving the scope change request. Below are sample guidelines but should be determined with each project.


    Scope Change Authority

    This scope change has no impacts to cost, schedule, or resources

    Project Manager

    This scope change has impacts cost < $3000, schedule < 2 weeks, or adds additional resource hours < 40 hours

    IS Project Sponsor
    Project Sponsor

    This scope change has cost impacts > $3000, schedule > 2 weeks, and needs additional resources.

    Executive Sponsors



    Typically, technical scope change requests are resolved by the project manager while business scope change requests which impact only this project can be approved by the project sponsor. Cross-project business scope change request resolutions will most likely be approved by the Executive Sponsor in concert with the project manager and project sponsors.
  7. Communicate and Implement
    Once the resolution for the scope change request has been approved, the project manager or initiative owner must take actions to assure that the required changes are implemented. The responsibility for implementing the resolution should be assigned and tracked as part of the project work plan.
  8. Close the Scope Change Request
    Change the status of the scope change request to closed.


Interested in reading more on project scope? Further reading:


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