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Define Scope is one of the processes to be accomplished in any project. An output of this process is a Scope Statement (according to PMBOK). This artifact identifies boundaries of a project and helps Project Manager to control its execution.

The question is what tool/instrument can be used to effectively specify and maintain such a Scope Statement artifact in a software development project?

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The Work breakdown Structure (WBS)

It not only contains a breakdown of the Product Scope in meaningfull Work packages (that make sense to the customer), but also all supporting processes that support the product and its implementation into the business (if that is part of your project). The WBS defines the Project Scope: what is not in the WBS, is out of scope.

Each Work Package should have a short description of what it contains (the WBS dictionary). You can link each Work Package to more detailed functional and technical specification documents, which are elaborated during the project.

Your network plan (of Work Packages) should clearly show how the product will reach its intended maturity.

You can color code each WBS element, depending on the status of the analysis. This gives a single glance overview of the project.

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    I would also - and clearly indicate - some out of scope items that might/could be in question, to remove doubt/confusion about those edge case items. Sort of a 'is/is-not' type of approach. – Meade Rubenstein Mar 25 '11 at 21:59
  • Agreed. Actually I have an entry for that in my WBS Dictionary. – Stephan Mar 25 '11 at 22:08
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First, review the Organizational Project Assets and Historical Data to see if previous project used a tool for this. I really doubt that there is a tool/instrument (software or something like that) Interview with project sponsors to define the project scope, I think this is the real tool. The scope management plan is define in planning, and is monitored in the Monitoring and Control process. The project scope statement is the input for many project management process.

There are some templates for the project scope statement that may help.

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