A project’s scope is just as important as its budget or timeline, but it’s often overlooked. Prioritize this crucial part of project management by creating a project scope management plan template.Create your template
If you've ever heard of the project management triangle, the iron triangle, or the triple constraints of project management, you know just how important project scope is in order to hit your goals on time and on budget. For every project, there are three interdependent project constraints: project timeline, project budget, project scope. But while a project’s timeframe and budget get the majority of the attention during project planning, project scope is just as important. To ensure that your team members define the project scope for every new project they create, you need a project scope management plan template.
Project scope is a way to predetermine boundaries for your project, including deadlines, budget, and deliverables. By determining your project scope before you begin your work, you know how to allocate resources and set realistic expectations for stakeholders.
Project scope management is comprised of a variety of related initiatives including:
Scope creep: When a project grows beyond its original scope with additional deliverables, an extended timeline, or more costs than originally planned.
Project management triangle: The trifecta of project management—scope, budget, and timeline. When you properly coordinate all three of these, you complete your projects without needing additional resources.
Project scope statement: Guidelines to help your team determine what's in and out of scope.
Project scope management plan: The plan you use to define and oversee your project scope.
A project scope management plan template is a reusable template you can use to plan a new project’s scope. With a project scope management plan template, you can standardize all the projects in your program or project team.
Many teams overlook the project scope, either prioritizing it below a project's budget and timeline or not defining it at all—which is dangerous. Your scope is just as important as every other component of the project management triangle—skipping or brushing over it can result in scope creep and an overworked, under-resourced team. A project scope management plan template makes it easy for your team to define the project scope for every project they launch, making it more likely that you'll hit your deliverables on time and on budget.
The main benefit of creating a project scope management plan template is that it encourages everyone on your team to establish a project scope for each new project they create. In addition, your template gives you full scope control over your projects. Thanks to your template, you can:
Standardize the project scope management planning process.
Get buy-in from stakeholders, especially leadership, who want to ensure that the project is viable.
Allow new team members to step in and manage projects because processes are already established.
Your project scope management plan template is the backbone of your project scope processes. This is where you’ll define scope, set expectations for stakeholders, and set up your project plan.
If you’re using project management software, you can use your template teamwide to ensure that you’re always communicating the right information during the scope management process. When you create your template, be sure to include sections (like the ones below) to define scope throughout the entire project lifecycle.
One of the main goals of your project management plan template is to establish what items, metrics, or tasks need to be completed in order for this project to be a success. Your deliverables can be smaller things (like completed project documents) or larger outputs (such as the launch of your new website). Connect these deliverables to your goals and team-wide objectives to ensure that every deliverable supports these larger initiatives.
Your work breakdown structure (WBS) is exactly what it sounds—it takes your deliverables and breaks them down further into the sub-tasks and sub-sub tasks you need to complete in order to complete each larger task. Creating a section for a WBS can help your team track critical sub-deliverables and key dependencies. This WBS should include your project objectives, your project scope statement, and project schedule, all displayed visually.
Include your projected project timeline here so you have a way to track your project’s progress against significant deadlines and milestones. Use dynamic software, such as a project management tool, so you can update your timeline if your scope changes—without needing to go in and manually edit every date.
In previous sections, you’ve defined what you’re working towards. But it’s equally as important to define the tasks that aren’t in scope. The goal is to set guidelines and boundaries so everyone has realistic expectations and knows what’s needed for project success. If a stakeholder has an additional request that’s out of scope later on, you can point to this section of your template and explain that this wasn’t included in the original project scope, so you can’t work on it at this time.
Your project stakeholders—like your team members, project sponsor, and executive leadership—want to be involved in the project. That's a good thing. But without careful monitoring and guardrails, even the best-meaning stakeholders can accidentally derail a project and even lead to scope creep. To prevent this from happening, use stakeholder assignment charts (such as RACI or RAPID) to clearly define each stakeholders' responsibility.
Even the best-planned projects run into roadblocks and unexpected changes. There may be instances when you need to add a deliverable or change the timeline. And while you want the scope of the project to be firm—it shouldn't be completely set in stone. A change control process allows stakeholders to submit change requests that may impact the project scope. By using a change process and setting up a change control form, you can get information on why the change is being requested, what the impact is, and whether or not it’s worth including in your project.Read: What is change management? 6 steps to build a successful change management process
First, review your previous scope plans to determine what information you need for your template. Your template should be completely customized for your project work, so look at your recent project scope management plans and see what project requirements are universal to your program or team. Include sections for each of these. For example, if you always create design prototypes, make sure to include that section in your template. Remember, the most effective scope management plan is the one that works best for your work, team, and organization.
List View. List View is a grid-style view that makes it easy to see all of your project’s information at a glance. Like a to-do list or a spreadsheet, List View displays all of your tasks at once so you can not only see task titles and due dates, but also view any relevant custom fields like Priority, Status, or more. Unlock effortless collaboration by giving your entire team visibility into who’s doing what by when.
Board View. Board View is a Kanban board-style view that displays your project’s information in columns. Columns are typically organized by work status (like To Do, Doing, and Done) but you can adjust column titles depending on your project needs. Within each column, tasks are displayed as cards, with a variety of associated information including task title, due date, and custom fields. Track work as it moves through stages and get at-a-glance insight into where your project stands.
Reporting. Reporting in Asana translates project data into visual charts and digestible graphs. By reporting on work where work lives, you can reduce duplicative work and cut down on unnecessary app switching. And, because all of your team’s work is already in Asana, you can pull data from any project or team to get an accurate picture of what’s happening in one place.
Project status updates. Say goodbye to sorting between multiple tools to find project status information or sitting through another meeting that could have been an email. Project status updates in Asana aren’t just easier to use—they’re also directly connected to the work your team does. This makes it easy for team members to access additional project information, like your project plan, communication plan, project goals, milestones, deliverables, and more. Ultimately, project status reports reduce your manual work, centralize information, and keep everyone up to date.
Google Workplace. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Google Workplace file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach any My Drive file with just a few clicks.
Miro. Connect Miro and Asana to streamline workflows and see the full picture of every project, all in one place. Embed Miro boards into Asana project briefs, allowing team members to interact, view, comment, or edit directly from within Asana. Or, attach an existing or new Miro board to any Asana task, automatically inviting task collaborators to view, comment, or edit the board.
OneDrive. Attach files directly to tasks in Asana with the Microsoft OneDrive file chooser, which is built into the Asana task pane. Easily attach files from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.
Lucidchart. The Lucidchart + Asana integration seamlessly embeds diagrams, flowcharts, process maps, and wireframes into your Asana project. Important project context lives right where you need it: in Asana. Teams can have easy access to all the right information as they work—without switching between different applications.
The purpose of your project scope management plan template is to coordinate and standardize the process for defining your project scope. Project scope is often overlooked by teams, despite its importance. By creating a template, you ensure that teams create a project scope for each new project, alongside a project's budget and timeline.
A project’s scope is a defined set of boundaries for your project—in other words, your scope establishes what you’re going to do, create, and achieve during your project. Scope management is the process of overseeing that scope, ensuring that any changes go through a proper change control process, and looking out for changes that would lead to scope creep.
A scope management plan is the plan you’re using for that specific project. A scope management plan template is a fill-in-the-blank version of that plan. You can save your template, and then duplicate it to create a new scope management plan for every new project.
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Learn how to create a customizable template in Asana with a free Premium trial today.