What we fail to appreciate in Project Scope Baseline - Part 2
Continuing on the scope baseline is the project manager’s best friend story.
Assumptions would be included in the scope baseline. It is like the project manager saying “I would complete the project subject to the assumptions being met.” Conversely, if some assumption is not met, we may need to relook at the project management plan. Let’s say that your customer says “Er, the test data that you wanted from me, is delayed by a month.” In your scope baseline if you had already documented the assumption about the test data, you are safe. You may respond saying “Well, let me see if this would necessitate a change request.”
Constraints are options which are desirable but (alas!) you do not have. Like, I would want a budget of ₹ 50,000,000 to buy a villa by the lake. But I am constrained with ₹ 5,000,000 (and forced to settle for an apartment in the suburbs). Since you have constraints as part of the scope baseline, you would be safe if there is a change in a constraint. For example, “Thank you for letting me that the timeline has shrunk. Let me see the impact. May be I shall raise a change request.”
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) too is a part of the scope baseline. Visualise an influential techie stakeholder of your project proposes basic change to the product architecture. This would impact the work breakdown structure, though not necessarily the product scope. You would still treat this as a change in the scope baseline and route it through the integrated change control process.
So next time you are creating project scope baseline, don’t feel intimidated by the details needed. The scope baseline will surely stand you in good stead as the project unfolds.
Eager to know your views.
About the Author
Mukund Toro is an independent Project Management Consultant who has worked with more than 1000 project managers. His 20+ years’ industry experience in software and telecommunication includes working in various capacities from project manager to director across multinationals, product and service companies and government research organisations.