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Scope Baseline – Components and Explanation

Scope Baseline

Components of a Scope Baseline

Scope Baseline is the approved version of a

  1. Project Scope Statement,
  2. WBS, and
  3. its associated WBS Dictionary.

Thus, the above three components combine to form scope baseline. It can be changed only through formal change control procedures, and is used as a basis for comparison.

Scope Baseline is part of Project Management Plan. Along with Schedule and Cost Baselines it forms the Performance Measurement Baseline.

Project Scope Statement

In simple terms Project Scope Statement is a document that describes, in detail, the project’s deliverables and the work required to create those deliverables. It is a detailed description of the entire scope of the project i.e.. both Project scope and product Scope.

PMBOK defines Project Scope Statement as the description of the project scope, major deliverables, assumptions, and constraints.

Project Scope Statement is part of Scope Baseline. 

It is the Key output of “Define Scope” Process.

In Project Charter, we have the high level description of the scope, in Project Scope Statement we have the detailed description of scope of the project and some other items as well.

Project Scope Statement components

  1. Product Scope Description – It is a detailed description of the characteristics of the product, service, or result described in the project charter and requirements documentation.
  2. Deliverable – Any unique and verifiable product, result, or capability to perform a service that is required to be produced to complete a process, phase, or project.
  3. Acceptance Criteria – A set of conditions that is required to be met before deliverables are accepted.
  4. Constraints – limiting factors that affect the execution of a project or process.
  5. Assumptions – A factor in the planning process that is considered to be true, real, or certain, without proof or demonstration.
  6. Project Exclusions – These are what are excluded from the project. Explicitly stating what is out of scope of the project helps to manage stakeholder expectations.

Work Break down Structure (WBS)

In simple terms Work Break down Structure (WBS) is the break down of the entire work that needs to be done into different work packages and placing them in a hierarchy structure.

Work Package

It is the lowest level component of WBS. It is the smallest amount of work that can produce a verifiable outcome.

PMBOK defines WBS as a hierarchical decomposition of the total scope of work to be carried out by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables.

In the context of WBS, work refers to work products or deliverables that are the result of activity and not the activity itself. Check Work Package VS Activity and for more clarity.

WBS Dictionary

It is a document that provides detailed information about each component in the Work Breakdown Structure(WBS). Detailed information includes, information about delievrable, activity, and schedule of each component.

WBS Dictionary is a document that supports the WBS.

WBS Dictionary describes 

  • Code of Account Identifier
  • Description of Work
  • Assumptions and constraints
  • Acceptance criteria
  • Responsible Organization
  • Schedule Milestones
  • Schedule Activities
  • Resources required
  • Cost estimates
  • Quality Requirements
  • Technical references
  • Agreement Information

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