The PMBOK 5th edition has 24 processes for the Planning Process Group. For the Knowledge Area of "Project Scope Management," we have the following:

  • Plan Scope Management Process
  • Collect Requirements
  • Define Scope
  • Create WBS
  • Validate Scope
  • Control Scope

Based on the online tutorial that I've read, it seems that "Plan Scope Management Process" contains the following:

  • Collect Requirements
  • Define Scope
  • Create WBS
  • Validate Scope
  • Control Scope

Therefore, is it reasonable to view "Plan Scope Management Process" as the process containing the previous items as sub-processes? This seems clearer because "Plan Scope Management Process" appears dependent on these other things.

  • I voted to close this as opinion based. PMBOK is what it is, a proposal that something else is clearer is purely subjective. FWIW, In my opinion creating a WBS is not a part of Planning Scope Management Process and therefore cannot be subordinate, and therefore for me your proposal does not add clarity, only confusion.
    – Marv Mills
    Mar 27, 2015 at 8:45
  • In any case, is it possible to conduct the Plan Scope Management Process without the Define Scope Process? I'm new to the Project Management field. Sorry if I sound naive.
    – CS Lewis
    Mar 27, 2015 at 8:49
  • I think you are misreading the list. The first thing you do, according to this list, is Plan Scope Management Process. When you are done with your planning of the scope management process you can go off and collect the requirements. Once you have collected the requirements you can Define Scope i.e. define the scope of the project- which you do within the framework of the Scope Management Process you planned at the beginning. I suggest you need to get more PM experience and perhaps undertake an accreditation, in order to learn how the process works.
    – Marv Mills
    Mar 27, 2015 at 8:58
  • 1
    Your question has been edited to be less of an opinion poll and more of a clarification of the PMBOK process central to your question.
    – Todd A. Jacobs
    Mar 27, 2015 at 15:13

3 Answers 3


Plan Scope Management Process (as part of the process group) is mostly concerned about how scope will be managed during the project: after discovering requirements, how it will be decided if they are part of scope or not; how to determine their priority / complexity; and later, how to handle scope changes

PMI suggests to consider those topics in advance, so the scope / requirement management plans must be outlined before starting requirements analysis, scope definition, etc. Of course, it will be refined during planning processes.


The Planning is the Activity

You're misreading the objective. For "Plan Scope Management Process," the sole output of the activity is a plan, not all of the other things that a scope management process might eventually manage.

You should read this item as: Create a plan to implement and/or manage a "Scope Management Process." All of the other activities you mention are activities or outputs from other processes, and are therefore not subordinate activities even if they are addressed in your plan.


In Scope Management Plan, you determine (in high level) how you as project manager and your key team members, develop how scope will be defined, manage (so "the scope" can be execute) and control the scope (in term of scope change happened in the project life cycle). After that for detailing all of the high-level that you have determined, you can use collect requirements, define scope, create WBS, validate scope and control scope

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