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PMP Rapid Review: Initiating the Project

Task 1.2: Define the high-level scope of the project based on the business and compliance requirements, in order to meet the customer’s project expectations.

This task is part of the iterative description of the scope of work of the project and is the first iteration of this process that focuses on the high-level scope of the project, mainly reflecting the customer’s project expectations and requirements.

Exam need to know...

  • Statement of work

    For example: What is the purpose of a statement of work?

  • Project and product scope

    For example: What is the difference between the project scope and the product scope?

  • Customer expectations

    For example: Why are customer expectations important when defining the project scope?

Statement of work

The project statement of work is a high-level narrative description of the product, service, or result to be delivered by a project. It is the first iteration of what will eventually become the complete project scope statement that contains only that information, which is known at this early initiation point in the project. It contains as much information about the business need for the project, the stakeholder requirements and expectations, and a product scope description; and how all of these contribute to, and align with, the organization’s strategic goals. Additionally, the project statement of work will be used as an input into future scope, time, cost, quality, and risk tasks. During this iterative process, it will be further defined.

True or false? The project statement of work contains a complete description of all the work to be done as part of the project.

Answer: False. Given that the project statement of work is part of the initiating work on the project, it contains only as much information as is known at that time. Generally, a complete description of all the work to be done as part of the project is not known at this point in initiating a project, so the project statement of work contains a high-level narrative description of the product, service, or result delivered by a project.

The complete description of all the work to be done as part of the project is included in the project scope statement.

Project and product scope

The project statement of work is a high-level narrative description of products and services, or a result to be delivered as part of the project, and refers to both project scope and product scope. The product scope is a subset of the project scope that focuses on the product, service, or result to be delivered to meet customer expectations as part of the project. The project scope refers to all work to be done as part of the project-including initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, and controlling-and closing project management tasks. Figure 1-2 shows the product scope as a subset of the total project scope.

Figure 1-2

Figure 1-2 A diagram showing the product scope as a subset of the project scope

True or false? The work to be done as part of a project includes both the product and project scope.

Answer: True. In order to deliver the product, service, or result of the project, the work to be done refers to both the product and project scope.

Customer expectations

The customer’s expectations of the project are central to the very reason why the project exists. As such, it is very important that as part of the tasks involved in initiating the project that a project manager seeks to fully understand exactly what the customer’s project expectations are in the initiating phase of a project. These expectations are captured in the project statement of work. The project manager might want to provide the customer with several drafts of the project statement of work and seek feedback, in order to ensure that the customer’s project expectations are correctly and fully captured.

True or false? The customer’s project expectations define the project scope of work.

Answer: False. The customer’s project expectations are an important part of the project scope of work but do not represent the entire project scope.

Can you answer these questions?

You can find the answers to these questions at the end of this chapter.

  1. What information does the project statement of work contain?
  2. Why is the statement of work typically in narrative form only?
  3. What is the difference between the project scope and the product scope?
  4. Why is defining the customer’s project expectations important?
  5. Who takes responsibility for ensuring that the customer’s project expectations are gathered and documented?

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