Scope Management

The Importance of Validating Scope in Project Management

I recall a time when I was managing a project to develop a new mobile application. We were nearing the end of the project, and it was time to validate the scope. This was a critical component of project scope management that I had learned about, but experiencing it firsthand brought a new level of understanding.

The Validate Scope process, as I came to appreciate, is all about formalizing the acceptance of completed project deliverables. It's not just a formality, but a crucial step that adds objectivity to the acceptance process and enhances the likelihood of final product, service, or result acceptance. In our case, it was about ensuring that the mobile application we had developed met the client's expectations and requirements.

This process is carried out periodically throughout the project as required. The inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs of the Validate Scope process are crucial to its successful execution. These include project management plan, verified deliverables, decision making, and accepted deliverables, among others.

The Control Quality process plays a significant role in the Validate Scope process. It produces verified deliverables that are then reviewed with the customer or sponsor to ensure they are completed satisfactorily and have received formal acceptance.

The outputs from the Planning processes in the Project Scope Management Knowledge Area, such as the requirements documentation or the scope baseline, are used in the validation process. Work performance data from the Execution processes in other Knowledge Areas also form the basis for performing the validation.

It's crucial to distinguish between the Validate Scope process, which primarily focuses on the acceptance of the deliverables, and the Control Quality process, which primarily focuses on the correctness of the deliverables and meeting the quality requirements. While Control Quality is usually performed before Validate Scope, these processes can also be performed simultaneously.

Reflecting on my experience with the mobile application project, the Validate Scope process was a pivotal moment that confirmed we had met our client's expectations. It was a testament to the importance of this process in project scope management, and a lesson I carry with me in every project I undertake.