Project Scope is basically the list of features that defines the product. It is generally documented during project planning in a Scope Statement. Scope Statement lists all the features that define the product. Everything else is considered out of scope.
As per the Wikipedia, here’s the definition of Project Scope: “The work that needs to be accomplished to deliver a product, service, or result with the specified features and functions.”
Here’s how to manage Project Scope in Agile
The most common challenge that Project Managers face these days, is Managing the Project Scope. After a thorough research, I came up with below points that can help a manager to manage the scope of the project:
- Creating & Maintaining Scope Statement: The most important and initial part of any project planning is to create a Scope Statement. This is a document that clearly lists what all is included in the project. Everything else is out of scope. It’s very important we maintain this scope statement as we move along with the project. Make sure the client and the team thoroughly understand the scope statement.
- Clearly, understand if it’s a Change or a Defect: It’s very important that the team clearly understands the problem statement. Identify if it’s a new change or a defect in the current system.
- Size/Complexity of Change or a Defect: Another important step is to identify the size/complexity of the problem, whether it’s a small change or a defect that can be easily implemented or does it affect the timeline and budget and should be a part of a separate iteration. An article by Atlassian also talks about the complexity of a feature causing scope creep.
- Communication: Communication plays a vital role during any project life cycle. When implementing any kind of changes, and if the size and complexity of the change/defect are far bigger, it’s always better to clearly communicate that within the team and to the customer. It has to be implemented in a way so that the project documentation, timelines and budget also reflects the same.
- Embracing the Change: That’s the beauty of Agile, to accept the changes. It’s very important we keep including the changes while we perform Product Backlog Refinements and within that, the scope statement should reflect if these are big changes to be included within Releases or not.
Many organizations are now following an approach known as a minimal viable product (MVP). Here’s an interesting article by LiquidPlanner, that talks about the same. “The key to successful MVP is to plot the value of a feature against the risk of successful implementation.”
To conclude, “Changes are assessed throughout the project, and the scope is replanned at the start of each iteration.“, given by an article published in AgilePM