GEOG 871
Geospatial Technology Project Management

Scope of a Project


Project Scope and Deliverables

Once a project is identified as something that an organization would like to pursue, the first step is to define the scope. The scope refers to all work that will be done to complete the project and what processes will be followed to accomplish this work. Clearly defining the scope is a critical component of successful project management. Poorly-defined scopes can result in clients getting less than they expected, project workers doing more than they expected, clients being unable to use the results, or project workers being unable to achieve the required results. If a scope is not clearly defined it is not possible to prepare an effective work plan (defined tasks) and schedule.

Deliverables are products or specific results that are identified and defined in the project's scope of work. For example, in a project involving the design and development of a custom Web-based GIS application, the main deliverable is the fully developed, tested, and deployed application (ready for access by users). This and other types of GIS projects may have other defined supporting deliverables, such as an application requirements/design document and user documentation. A main deliverable for a field data collection project would be the final data (after quality reviews) loaded to the organization's GIS database. For effective management of the project, it is critical to include, in the project's scope, a description or specifications of each deliverable--to guide the work and manage quality.

Managing the scope of a project involves all of the process groups we discussed in Lesson 2 -- initiation, planning, definition, controlling, and closing. In this lesson, you will initiate the project by creating a project charter (an internal document for the City), for the City's geodatabase design and development project. In the following weeks, you will plan and define the scope of the project. An important aspect of this will be to create a detailed work breakdown structure (WBS), which we will discuss, and you will create in Lesson 5. Some of the most challenging problems in project management are changes or requests for changes to scope that occur during the implementation phase of a project. Change control is vital with such issues. The topic of change management will be addressed in Lesson 8.