Project Scope Management Part 5: Validate Scope

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A blog that looks at all aspects of project and program finances from budgets, estimating and accounting to getting a pay rise and managing contracts. Written by Elizabeth Harrin from GirlsGuideToPM.com.

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Project Scope Management Part 5: Validate Scope


Categories: scope


It’s time for part 5 of our journey through the Scope Management Knowledge Area from the PMBOK® Guide-- Sixth Edition, although it does feel like once I’ve got through the whole PMBOK® Guide we’ll be on the Seventh Edition, as I know that will be with us before we know it.

Anyhow, today, we’re looking at the Validate Scope process.

You can find the previous parts here:

This will be a super-short look at the process, because there haven’t been many changes and it’s a pretty simple process.

The Validate Scope Process

This is the fifth process in the Knowledge Area. We have moved from the Planning process group to the Monitoring and Controlling process group.

What we’re doing at this point in the project is formalising the process of acceptance. As we’re in Monitoring and Controlling, we’ve got to the point in the project where something has been delivered. Now we have to check whether we’ve delivered the right thing.

Basically, you review the deliverable with the person responsible for approving it, and receive formal sign off. When you’re doing this process in real life, it’s likely to overlap with with the Control Quality process, because you have to check the deliverables match the defined quality standards before you ask a sponsor to sign them off.

So now we know what this process is all about, let’s look at what we need to perform it.

Inputs

There isn’t much that has changed from the Fifth Edition. Instead of requirements documentation and requirements traceability matrix, we just have project documents. No biggie. That means the inputs to this process are:

  • Project management plan
  • Project documents
  • Verified deliverables i.e. ones that have been through the quality processes
  • Work performance data – personally I think it’s a bit vague as to why you would need this, but it could overlap with quality requirements and the example given in the PMBOK® Guide is that of documenting number of validation cycles and nonconformities. So you could find it useful in a discussion with a project sponsor, I suppose.

Tools & Techniques

Group decision making techniques has dropped off the list of Tools and Techniques, to be replaced by generic decision making (which includes, of course, techniques for groups to make decisions like voting).

Personally, I can’t think of many (any?) situations where my project quality would be assessed by vote. The deliverable either meets the criteria or it doesn’t. However, the PMBOK® Guide does list voting as a way to reach a conclusion when “the validation is performed by the project team and other stakeholders.”

Alongside that, we also have inspection (as previously in the Fifth Edition).

Outputs

Once again, there are no new or changed outputs to this process.

The outputs are:

  • Accepted deliverables
  • Work performance information
  • Change requests
  • Project document updates.

Of these, the most important for me is the accepted deliverables. The formal documentation for sign off of a deliverable is used later in the process for closing down the project, because you can’t close a project if the deliverables haven’t been accepted.

Next time I’ll be looking at the sixth and final process in this Knowledge Area: Control Scope.

Pin for later reading:

validate scope management

Posted on: November 11, 2019 08:59 AM | Permalink

Comments (4)

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Dear Elizabeth
Interesting reflection on this topic
Thanks for sharing

Since: "Personally, I can't think of many (any?) Situations where my project quality would be evaluated by vote. The deliverable either meets the criteria or it doesn't. However, the PMBOKĀ® Guide does list voting as a way to reach a conclusion when "the validation is performed by the project team and other stakeholders."

It will be good for all of us if this question is put to the team that is in the making and the 7th edition of PMBOKĀ® Guide
And of course, wait for the answer

User and informative recap. Thanks for sharing.

Voting as a validation method is quite common. Validating scope means assessing whether the project completely addresses everything that the project was chartered to do, and that the solution is correct. That can be somewhat subjective.

Think of a requirement such as "The product will contain no known hazards." That is a pretty broad statement. You could potentially write down every known hazard you can think of but ultimately, how do you know the list is complete? That is where stakeholders from various perspectives all vote on whether the requirement was met or not. That doesn't mean the vote requires a simple majority for validation. A single negative vote could conclude that the some aspect of the scope was not met.

Very interesting, thanks for sharing

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