Requirements Management vs. Scope Management

At times, there is still some confusion as to the differences between and the need for requirements management if you already have Scope Management. Both contain requirements, of course, so what are the differences between them? The short answer is that Requirements Management is more detailed and, more importantly, needs Scope Management to exist. In other words, Requirements Management stems from Scope Management usually because it has been deemed that Scope Management will not suffice. And even though both are part of the Project Management Plan, only Scope Management is obligatory, whereas Requirements Management is optional.

Requirements Management vs. Scope Management

Scope Management is always required because there is always a scope and a scope baseline for every project. And the Scope Management Plan contains the roadmap to address basic project requirements, such as deliverables, acceptance criteria, and other parts of the scope needed to achieve a successful project. However, if we are talking about more in-depth requirements descriptions and their execution, monitoring, and controlling, such as in the case of product features, then Requirements Management is key. The Requirements Management Plan produces a central “output” item, which is the Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM.) The RTM is a critical document required to track detailed requirements.

For example, if you provide consulting and/or training services, such as in my case, then the scope could be as simple as: “We will provide 40 hours of PMP exam preparation coursework over five (5) continuous days for six (6) staff members. Our services will include classroom instruction with one trainer, a PowerPoint Presentation geared towards industry X, study material, sample exams, and…”

In this case, scope management will include the meetings and/or questionnaires required to prepare a customized presentation and the acceptance criteria required by the client to meet her/his expectations, and the evaluation of the results obtained at the end of the training. As you can see, there is not much detail involved. However, if the client requests follow up training, additional assistance for the students to prepare for the exam post-training, and monitoring student progress until everyone is certified, then there will be a need for Requirements Management to execute, monitor, and control the additional work, plus the RTM to keep track of the various tasks, such as: 

Student

PMP Course

Exam Scheduled

Handouts/ Sample Exams

Exam Taken and Certified

Comments

Emilia L. Done Done Done Yes  
Mary K. Done 1 Jun 2021 Done Not yet  
Paul S. Done In process Done Not yet Audit done
Jeannie J. Done No Done Not yet Help needed

As with most project management cases, the extent of the processes, plans, and other tools depend on the project’s complexity. Therefore, for some projects, it is sufficient to prepare a Scope Management Plan. For others, however, such as the example above or if you have a project that requires testing, auditing, multiple reviews, and so on, such as in the IT, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing industries, Requirements Management is essential. For further information regarding Requirements Management, please feel free to contact us, and we will be glad to clarify further.

Requirements Management vs. Scope Management

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