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Scope (In Scope and Out of Scope)

Like any other aspect of a project, we would want to determine how scope impacts the planning process of the project. It is a part of the project planning process which helps in documenting and determining the goals of project, deliverables, costs, tasks and deadlines.

This kind of paperwork is called as scope statement or SOW, wherein this documentation is compulsory throughout the project which helps the team to stay focused on the task and also avoid scope creep.


In other words, it defines the needs to be achieved as well as amount of work done to deliver the project within budget and time approved by the stakeholders. Therefore, Scope is important as a part of planning process.

Scope of the project needs approval of the project stakeholders wherein people who are involved in the project should be communicated about the goals and how they will be met. Managing scope is managing the project.


In order to understand what falls inside or outside the boundaries of the project, the project team as well as the project manager needs to understand scope first.

Scope begins with defining the set of boundaries, identifying the responsibilities of the team and finally getting it verified and approved by the process.

To define scope correctly, using several criteria, below are few of the key processes to follow,

  • Define product requirements
  • Define process requirements
  • Involve correct stakeholders
  • Change management
  • Know the limitations and deliverables


All the activities which fall inside the boundaries of scope statement are considered to be “in scope”. If the activity falls outside the boundaries which is not planned for is considered as “Out of scope”.

Being a project manager or a part of project team, we would want to consider what is in scope and what is out of scope as we move forward.

Let us take an example of building a website, as a part of scope, you consider below items as in scope for the project.

  • Site design
  • Diagramming of wireframe
  • Approved wireframe’s coding
  • Graphic development
  • Testing and debugging

Suppose during the course of project, client requests for video overview of company also to be included wherein the video is not stated in scope of the project and therefore considered as out of scope.

Therefore, in order to determine what is in scope and out of scope, even after discussions with client and project owner and outlining the details of the project it is equally important to make key assumptions.

Assumptions help you define scope, risks and guide you in balancing the time and costs measurements. It is also important to document and validate your assumptions.

About Prasanna Sennigaram

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