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Define Scope Process

Define Scope Process

The define scope process is a part of the project scope management knowledge area as mentioned in a guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK Guide), 6th Edition. It is the third process in the knowledge area after the plan scope management process and collect requirements process. As the process name suggests, this process helps project managers define the project scope and provide a detailed description of the project and product. Project managers use the define scope process during the planning process group or phase of the project management, giving them a clear picture of what the project will be and what it will not be.

Define Scope Process
Define Scope Process

Define Scope Process in Project Management

The main objective of the define scope process is to get a detailed description of the project scope and establish the boundaries or limits of the project. This process helps the project management team and stakeholders understand the project’s acceptance criteria. Thus, everyone involved in the project development knows the project’s purpose and the product or service’s primary objective.

Therefore, the define scope process provides the definition of the project scope for all project stakeholders, and it also sets the boundaries and limitations of the project. So that the project stakeholders recognize the project deliverables and the scope baseline, this process also determines the project’s requirements, risks associated with the project, and the assumptions and constraints of the project.

Elements of Define Scope Process

By defining the scope of the project using this process, project managers can finalize the actual project scope. The project charter document will have all the details related to the project scope, including the resource requirements and the risks. The three elements of the define scope process are as follows:

Inputs of the Define Scope Process

Since the define scope process is one of the earliest processes and is included in the planning phase of the project life cycle, the inputs used are the primary documents. These are:

  • Scope Management Plan
  • Project Charter
  • Requirements Documentation
  • Organizational Process Assets

Tools and Techniques used in Defining the Scope

The tools and techniques used to finalize the project scope are mentioned below:

  • Expert Judgement
  • Product Analysis
  • Alternative Generation
  • Facilitated Workshops

Outputs Created in Define Scope Process

There are two crucial outputs received at the end of the define scope process. They are:

The project scope statement and project documents updates are essential for determining the project scope in detail. These documents include project deliverables like a function or attribute of the product the project is trying to achieve. They also have the project’s acceptance criteria and limitations, which will help project managers manage the expectation of the stakeholders.

Any new constraints or requirements discovered during the define scope process are mentioned in these documents. Thus, the define scope process assists project managers in organizing the project tasks and listing their requirements before moving on to the following knowledge area of project management: project schedule management.


The PMP (Project Management Professional) Certification Exam Content Outline has changed, and candidates preparing for the exam to acquire the prestigious PMP Certification must use the PMBOK Guide, 7th Edition, as the reference material. There are significant changes in the latest PMBOK Guide with the addition of eight performance domains and twelve project management delivery principles. However, the process groups and knowledge areas of the PMBOK Guide, sixth edition, can still be used to understand the project management methodology.

Existing PMPs still use the process-based approach of the PMBOK sixth edition to define the project scope and lead projects for their organization. So, candidates preparing for the PMP certification examination in 2022 should use both editions of the PMBOK Guide for a detailed comprehension of the project management discipline.

Posted in Project Management

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