Project Scope vs Product Scope with Examples
Today we will discuss the Project Scope vs Product Scope concept. Organizations undertake many projects or produce many products to grow up. In project management, there are several important definitions used to refer to various features of project deliverables. For example, Project scope and product scope are widely used concepts in project management that you should be aware of their differences in order to build up a career in the field of project management. If the scope statement of a project is not clear, the organization will have difficulties while performing the project. Therefore without having a clear understanding of both concepts, you can not complete your project on time and budget successfully.
Many project management practitioners mistakenly consider that these two concepts are the same, in fact, they refer to different but interrelated concepts. This article will explain the similarities and differences between the two kinds of scopes in brief. Before analyzing their differences, let’s start with the definitions below.
Projects are undertaken by organizations to create a unique product or service. In other words, when you deliver the deliverables of the project, the project will come to an end because you’ve achieved the goals.
A project is temporary in nature which is undertaken to produce a specific output or a product. The output can be physical or non-physical. Most of the projects provide monetary incomes like hotel construction or software development. However, some projects are non-profit which are performed to improve public health or personal growth.
A product can be defined as a physical item or a component that is produced artificially. Goods and materials are examples of products. They can be produced as an output of a manufacturing process. They may have both physical and chemical characteristics.
Computers, construction equipment, vehicles are examples of products.
Scope is a widely used term in project management that you may encounter this word in many processes. The scope can be used as a suffix of project or product term. Basically, it refers to the boundary or extent of the area that something deals with. It can be considered as the sum of the products and services to be provided as a project.
The Product Scope can be defined as the features and functions that characterize a product. In other words, it defines and details the features, characteristics of a product, service, or result.
Therefore it involves technical specifications, features, functions required to represent a product itself.
Simply put, the product scope focuses on how the product will look and how will it work. The product can be described as the output or the end result of a project.
For example, your company will produce a computer. The product is the computer and its scope will include its dimensions, battery size, processor speed, screen resolution, memory capacity, etc.
The PMBOK Guide defines the Project Scope as the work performed to deliver a product, service, or result with the specified features and functions.
Therefore it involves all the works, processes, methods required to deliver the project deliverables. In other words, the action you do to perform your product is the scope of your project.
It includes outputs, however, it may be extended to cover benefits. Definition of scope statement is an important task in project scope management.
Project Scope and Product Scope Example
Suppose that you will build a mansion for your client. The client defines the requirements such as the size of the rooms, number of bathrooms, floor covering materials, door colors, and other features.
The mansion is the product and the client’s requirements are the scope. You received the product scope from the client.
In order to build the mansion, you will create the project schedule, prepare the budget and hire employees. You will perform all the construction work and related processes such as health and safety and quality management.
All the works and processes that you will perform to construct the mansion are the scope of the project.
The Difference Between Project Scope and Product Scope
Below are some of the key differences between project and product scope.
• The project scope is the work that is required to deliver the product.
• The scope of the project refers to all the work and processes required to be done to deliver the product and the product scope refers to technical specifications, features, functions of the product itself.
• The product scope focuses on the features of the end product and the project scope focuses on the work needed to deliver the product.
• The product scope can also be included in the project scope.
Project scope can be considered as an agreement between the client and the contractor. Therefore a well-written scope statement is key to prevent disputes between the parties involved in the project. Because a clear scope statement reduces risk and manages the expectations of all key stakeholders. Changes in the scope may cause time and money losses after the start of a project.
Simply put, the product scope defines the end product itself, and the project scope describes how to get this product. Therefore, the project scope has extensive processes which can also include the Product Scope.
Note that this is an important concept for the PRINCE2, CAPM, and PMP certification exam point of view. Therefore we decided to write this article for the candidates who seek to get certified.
If you want to add or share anything related to the concepts, you can use the comments section below.
Lorena Denny is a passionate Transformation, Portfolio, Program & Project Management Consultant with a natural flair for breathing new life and energy into individuals, teams and projects, moving people to action and making change happen. She is the founder of Lorena Denny Consultancy.