Scope management plan

Scope is the defining characteristic when choosing to manage work as a project or a programme. The more complex the scope, the more extensive the range of management plans needed to describe how it will be managed.

An all-encompassing scope management plan, as described here, will work for less complex scope. As the complexity increases some parts of scope may need their own management plan, such as a benefits management plan for example. Ultimately, the scope management plan may be replaced by management plans for each aspect of managing scope.

Broadly speaking a scope management plan will exist for projects, whereas a programme will have separate management plans for the different components of scope management. Naturally there will be points in-between where there is an umbrella scope management plan supported by more detailed management plans as required.



  • Introduction
  • The introduction will describe the background to the work and make it clear how the governance of scope is documented. If aspects of scope management are taken out of this document and expanded into their own management plans, they should be listed here.

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • At its simplest, one person (maybe the project manager) will be able to perform the managerial and technical aspects of scope. At its most complex, scope will need specialists in different functions (e.g. requirements management or configuration management) or specialists in different technical disciplines (e.g. architects, electrical engineers, aeronautical engineers etc.).

    This section may contain the detail of roles and responsibilities or it may just contain an overview with more detail in each of the relevant ‘procedure’ sections of the plan.

  • Information management
  • The composition and format of scope documents may be defined here. Alternatively, this section may contain an overview of scope documentation with more detail in each of the relevant ‘procedure’ sections of the plan.

  • Assurance
  • The criteria for successful scope management that will be used in any assurance reviews will be described here. If necessary, detailed criteria can be included in the ‘procedure’ sections of the plan.

  • Budget
  • The cost of scope management is to a large extent the cost of the project or programme. This section should not attempt to deal with the entire budget but concentrate on certain specialist areas. For example, there may be a specific budget for feasibility studies or scope changes.

    If necessary, detailed criteria can be included in the ‘procedure’ sections of the plan.

  • Interfaces
  • This section is particularly important if the scope management plan is an umbrella document for more detailed management plans such as a benefits management plan or a configuration management plan.

    It should also provide cross-references to other functions to highlight areas of scope that have higher levels of risk or particularly influential stakeholders. If necessary, detailed criteria can be included in the ‘procedure’ sections of the plan.


Component procedures

The composition and detail of this part of the plan is entirely dependent on the scale and complexity of the scope. One simple overall procedure many be appropriate or a number of more specialised procedures may be defined.

  • Requirements management
  • The extent of requirements management must be consistent with the complexity of the scope of work and stakeholder involvement.

  • Solutions development
  • The solutions development procedure and techniques will be defined in accordance with the complexity of the outputs required.

  • Benefits management
  • It is likely that a scope management plan will only contain a section on benefits if the number of outputs and benefits is small. Otherwise a full benefits management plan will be used.

  • Change control
  • Changes to scopecan be a major influence on the success of projects and programmes. This section must define clear procedures including levels of authority, change budgets and assessment techniques. It should also describe how associated communications should be handled.

  • Configuration management
  • By definition, the more complex the scope of a project or programme, the more inter-relationships there are between outputs, outcomes, benefits and their component products. Configuration management may also cover management documentation.



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