The Scope Baseline is a critical tool for project management and one of the first steps in creating a Scope Statement. It sets out the scope, budget, and schedule and resource allocation for a project.
It will help to identify what needs to be done at an early stage before things escalate and cause problems.
This blog post talks about what it is, how to create it and why you should use it as part of your project management process.
What is a project scope baseline?
Scope baseline is a document that describes the current scope of work for your project. It includes all the deliverables, features and functions required to complete your project successfully.
This also contains acceptance criteria that are used during Project Review Meetings. In order to validate whether or not you have met Scope Requirements within each phase of your project life cycle.
A Scope Baseline should include all requirements that must be completed before moving on to the next phases of your project (e.g., Design Phase, Development Phase).
Why is it important?
Having Scope Baseline is important because it allows for better communication between team members and the stakeholders.
It also helps to make sure you are all talking about the same thing, there would be no miscommunication or misunderstandings which can lead to issues later on in your project.
This document will allow you to track changes that occur during each phase of your project life cycle (e.g., Requirements Review) as well as any future changes made after the Scope Baseline has been created.
This is a must-have work for every project. It serves as the main reference point that everyone will work on this document, and not just adding new features or changing scope on their own.
Steps to create a scope baseline:
Scope Baseline is useful to describe what the Scope of work for the project will be. This can also be called Scope Statement. It’s an important document that helps stakeholders understand how much time and resources a project needs to complete successfully.
Scope Statements are often used as Project Scope, which includes both Scope Statement and Project Schedule. The scope statement contains all information about who will do, what task within the project with some additional information like quality standards or any other constraints.
Here is how to create it;
Collect all the project requirements:
Scope Statement has to be based on the Requirements. Because of that, you need to collect all requirements first before creating Scope Baseline. It should contain all requirements and constraints of the project.
After collecting requirements, you can create a project Scope Statement. It will include project scope, so it contains all requirements and constraints plus additional information.
Determine the project scope:
After Scope Statement is created, you can move on to the next step of creating a scope Baseline. Creating a project scope goes hand in hand with project schedule creation. This shows how you should execute all work packages.
You can create Project scope in several ways, but the most popular one is using the Excel spreadsheet with different worksheets for requirements, tasks or milestones etc. Make sure that you connect all sheets properly before creating Scope Baseline.
Create a list of all tasks via PM software:
If you use project management software, then you can easily create a Scope Baseline. The only thing that needs to do is to add all tasks into the system. You’ll also make sure you connect them properly with other spreadsheets.
After creating Scope Baseline, it should include everything about your projects like milestones or deliverables. It shows how Scope and Scope Statement will be delivered. Scope Baseline should also include Scope Change Requests, which means that Scope Statement you can change if necessary.
Create a timeline for development:
After you’ve done with all the above steps, you can move on to create a project schedule timeline. During Scope Baseline creation you can use a timeline as well.
Create a list of all tasks and define how long it will take to complete them. It’s important because Scope Statement includes information about the time needed for project completion. So this is why developing Scope Baselines goes hand in hand with creating a Project Schedule.
Validate Scope from Stakeholders:
Scope Baseline is a Scope Statement and Project Schedule together. Because of that, it’s very important to validate the Scope from all stakeholders before starting the project work.
When you create Scope Baselines, make sure they are correct. Because this document will help your team to understand how much time and resources you need for project completion.
Without Scope Baseline, Project Scope and Cost are not valid. As you can see Scope Baseline is very important in project management so it’s recommended to create it before starting the work.
Benefits of having a project scope baseline:
Scope Baseline is an important document for project management. Because it covers the Scope Statement and Project Schedule that are both integral parts of Scope Baselines.
The main purpose of this document is to help stakeholders to show the need for time and resources. This shows them how much they’ve to wait for the successful completion of the project work without compromising its quality standards.
Here are some of the benefits of creating a project scope baseline;
Helps you understand what the scope of your project is and how you should execute it.
Scope Baselines are very important for Stakeholders. This means that they have to validate Scope before creation so there’s no risk of creating incorrect documents.
Scope baselines are approved scope and schedule together. You’re will allow for Scope changes through the scope change request process. So there’s no need to worry about Scope changing during project execution.
Helps you to create Project Schedules as well because all tasks have been organized beforehand in a proper way. There can’t be any misunderstandings or wrong task sequencing on the timeline.
All stakeholders understand that Scope is valid from this moment for the whole duration of the project due to Scope Baseline creation. This means that they also know what should happen with their requirements before start working on it again.
A scope baseline is an important document for Scope management. The best way to create Scope Baselines is using PM software like Smart sheet or Microsoft Project etc. They make the whole process easier with some simple clicks on your part!
You need to create a Scope Baseline at the beginning of every project and update it after a change request got to deliver. The best practice is to schedule regular Scope Changes Reviews where you re-evaluate how your projects are going and decide whether Scope needs to update or not.