Writing a Project Scope Statement (with examples)

What is a project scope statement?

A project scope statement is a crucial document that outlines the objectives, deliverables, and boundaries of a project. It defines the project’s scope, which includes all the work that needs to be done to achieve the project’s objectives. The scope statement acts as a guide for project managers and stakeholders, helping them understand what is included and what is not included in the project.

A well-defined project scope statement is essential for successful project management. It sets clear expectations, establishes boundaries, and helps prevent scope creep. By clearly defining the project’s scope, all parties involved can align their efforts and resources towards a common goal.

Why is a project scope statement important?

A project scope statement is important for several reasons. First and foremost, it helps to ensure that everyone involved in the project has a clear understanding of what needs to be done. This eliminates any ambiguity or misunderstandings that could derail the project.

Additionally, the project scope statement provides a basis for decision-making. It helps project managers prioritize tasks, allocate resources, and manage risks. Without a clear scope statement, projects can easily become disorganized, leading to delays, cost overruns, and other issues.

Furthermore, the project scope statement serves as a communication tool. It allows stakeholders to have a shared understanding of the project’s objectives and deliverables. This is particularly important when working with multiple teams or external partners. Having a well-defined scope statement ensures that everyone is on the same page, reducing the likelihood of miscommunication and conflicts.

Key components of a project scope statement

A project scope statement typically includes the following key components

Vision and Objectives

Begin with clarity and intent. The vision sets the stage, articulating not just the end goal, but the impact and value your project will deliver. Objectives are your checkpoints, the tangible accomplishments that, step by step, lead to the zenith of project completion. They must be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound, compelling your team to reach that pinnacle of success.


Every project is a quest to create something unique—these are your deliverables. Whether it’s a groundbreaking mobile application, a robust IT system, or an innovative software solution, these deliverables are the tangible outputs your clients will see, touch, and experience. Define them with enough detail to avoid ambiguity, yet with the flexibility to accommodate creativity and innovation.

Milestones and Timeline

Time is the canvas upon which your project masterpiece will unfold. Milestones are the brushstrokes that segment this canvas, marking significant achievements along the duration of the project. A timeline offers structure, a chronological backbone to the creative chaos, ensuring that your masterpiece is painted within the frame of the agreed-upon deadline.

Scope Exclusions

Understanding what is not included in a project is just as important as understanding what is. Scope exclusions prevent scope creep, the archenemy of project focus and productivity, by establishing firm boundaries. They are the sentinels that protect project objectives from becoming diluted or overshadowed by peripheral desires.


Navigating the landscape of project management, constraints are the natural borders that define the realm of possibility. These critical parameters—be it budget caps, technology limits, or predetermined timelines—shape the strategy and tactics, ensuring that ambitious visions are grounded in the realities of execution.

The lifeblood of any project, the budget outlines the financial framework within which your project operates. It serves as a fiscal compass, ensuring that every dollar spent is an investment towards the project’s objectives and not a stray into the abyss of unplanned expenses. 

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Assumptions and Risks

Assumptions are the hypotheses on which your project is predicated, the ‘givens’ that support your strategy. Conversely, risks are potential roadblocks that could derail your progress. Together, they form the guardrails that keep your on the path to the end goal, requiring constant vigilance and contingency plans.

Acceptance Criteria

Finally, the moment of truth: acceptance criteria determine what success looks like in the eyes of your stakeholders. These are the standards your deliverables must meet to be considered complete, the goals that drive quality and excellence.

How to write a project scope statement

Writing a project scope statement requires careful thought and consideration. Here are some steps to help you create an effective project scope statement:

  • Define the project objectives: Start by clearly defining the goals and objectives of the project. What are you trying to achieve? What problem are you solving?
  • Identify the project deliverables: Determine what tangible outputs or results the project will produce. Break down the deliverables into specific tasks or milestones.
  • Set project boundaries: Clearly define what is included and what is not included in the project. This helps manage expectations and prevents scope creep.
  • Consider project constraints: Identify any limitations or restrictions that may impact the project, such as budget, resources, or time constraints. This helps project managers make informed decisions and manage risks.
  • Document assumptions: Make note of any assumptions that are made about the project. This helps provide context and clarity to the project scope.
  • Identify dependencies: Determine any dependencies or external factors that may impact the project. This helps project managers plan and allocate resources effectively.
  • Review and revise: Once you have written the project scope statement, review it carefully to ensure clarity and completeness. Revise as necessary to make sure it accurately reflects the project’s goals and objectives.

Tips for creating an effective project scope statement

Creating an effective project scope statement requires attention to detail and careful planning. Here are some tips to help you create a strong scope statement:

  • Involve key stakeholders: Engage key stakeholders early in the process to gather their input and ensure their expectations are aligned with the project scope.
  • Be specific: Use clear and concise language when describing the project objectives, deliverables, and boundaries. Avoid ambiguity or vague statements.
  • Set realistic expectations: Ensure that the project scope is realistic and achievable within the given constraints. Unrealistic expectations can lead to project failure or dissatisfaction among stakeholders.
  • Consider potential risks: Identify and address potential risks or challenges that may arise during the project. This helps project managers plan and allocate resources effectively.
  • Regularly update the scope statement: As the project progresses, periodically review and update the scope statement to reflect any changes or adjustments that may be necessary.
  • Communicate effectively: Clearly communicate the project scope to all stakeholders to ensure a shared understanding and avoid misunderstandings.

Common mistakes to avoid when writing a project scope statement

When writing a project scope statement, it is important to avoid common mistakes that can undermine the effectiveness of the document. Here are some mistakes to avoid:

  • Being too vague: Avoid using vague or ambiguous language that can lead to misunderstandings or misinterpretations.
  • Not involving key stakeholders: Failing to involve key stakeholders in the scope statement creation process can result in misalignment and dissatisfaction.
  • Not considering constraints: Neglecting to consider project constraints, such as budget, resources, or time, can lead to unrealistic expectations and project failure.
  • Overlooking dependencies: Ignoring dependencies or external factors that may impact the project can result in delays or resource allocation issues.
  • Not updating the scope statement: Failing to regularly review and update the scope statement can lead to misalignment and outdated information.

Project scope statement examples

Looking for a real-life example of a project scope statement. We have two project scope statement examples for you to choose from. Each example of a project scope statement serves as a compass, guiding project managers and their teams through the complexities of project planning.

Project scope statement example 1: Next-Gen Inventory Management System (IMS) Development

1. Project Scope Description: The scope of the Next-Gen Inventory Management System development project includes designing, building, and deploying a comprehensive IMS tailored to streamline warehouse operations for mid-to-large scale retail businesses. The system will incorporate real-time tracking, analytics, automated reordering, and integration with existing ERP and CRM platforms.

2. Project Objectives:

  • To design a user-friendly, scalable, and secure Inventory Management System.
  • To enable real-time tracking of stock levels, sales forecasting, and inventory optimization.
  • To decrease inventory management costs by 20% and improve order accuracy by 30%.
  • To ensure seamless integration with third-party vendors and existing business technology systems.

3. Deliverables:

  • A completed Inventory Management System software application.
  • Documentation for the system, including user guides and technical specifications.
  • Source code repository setup and populated with version-controlled application code.
  • Deployment on a secure cloud infrastructure with a backup and disaster recovery plan.
  • Training sessions for staff and comprehensive post-deployment support for a period of six months.

4. Project Milestones:

  • Milestone 1: Project kickoff and requirement gathering by MM/DD/YYYY.
  • Milestone 2: Completion of system design and architecture by MM/DD/YYYY.
  • Milestone 3: Development phase and testing environment set up by MM/DD/YYYY.
  • Milestone 4: Initial version deployment and user acceptance testing by MM/DD/YYYY.
  • Milestone 5: System go-live and staff training completion by MM/DD/YYYY.
  • Milestone 6: Post-deployment review and sign-off by MM/DD/YYYY.

5. Project Exclusions:

  • Custom hardware development for the IMS.
  • Data entry or migration services for existing inventory records.
  • Long-term maintenance and updates post the six-month support period (can be negotiated separately).

6. Constraints:

  • The project must be completed within a budget of $XXX,XXX.
  • All system development must adhere to industry standards for security and data protection.
  • The project should not disrupt existing warehouse operations during typical business hours.

7. Assumptions:

  • The client will provide timely feedback and approvals during the project lifecycle.
  • The client will ensure necessary access to integration points and technical resources as required.
  • Third-party API services will maintain uptime and availability during system integration.

8. Acceptance Criteria:

  • The IMS functions according to specified requirements and passes all user acceptance tests.
  • The system supports at least XXX simultaneous users without performance degradation.
  • Client satisfaction as measured by a post-deployment survey that meets agreed thresholds for performance and usability.

9. Approval: The undersigned parties agree to the above scope for the Next-Gen Inventory Management System development project.

Client Representative: ___________________ Date: MM/DD/YYYY

Project Manager: _________________________ Date: MM/DD/YYYY

Project scope statement example 2: “HealthTrack” Personal Wellness App Development

1. Project Scope Description: The “HealthTrack” project encompasses the design, development, and deployment of a personal wellness mobile application aimed at helping users monitor and achieve their health and fitness goals. The app will include features such as meal tracking, workout routines, health statistics, and a virtual coach, tailored for both iOS and Android platforms.

2. Project Objectives:

  • To create an intuitive and engaging mobile application that encourages health and wellness.
  • To integrate personalized health tracking functionalities with a high level of user data privacy.
  • To implement AI-driven virtual coaching for personalized user experience.
  • To establish a platform that allows for future scalability and additional feature integrations.

3. Deliverables:

  • A fully functional HealthTrack mobile application for both iOS and Android.
  • User manuals and FAQ sections within the app.
  • A back-end system to handle user data, app analytics, and support functionalities.
  • An administrative dashboard for managing app content and user feedback.
  • Technical documentation and source code for the mobile application and back-end system.

4. Project Milestones:

  • Milestone 1: Complete market research and finalization of the feature set by MM/DD/YYYY.
  • Milestone 2: Design mock-ups and user experience maps completion by MM/DD/YYYY.
  • Milestone 3: Development sprint cycles and regular app prototypes for feedback by MM/DD/YYYY.
  • Milestone 4: Beta version release and user testing by MM/DD/YYYY.
  • Milestone 5: Official app launch in the App Store and Google Play by MM/DD/YYYY.
  • Milestone 6: Post-launch monitoring and immediate bug fixes by MM/DD/YYYY.

5. Project Exclusions:

  • Development of a separate wearable device app will not be included.
  • Marketing and promotional activities for the app launch are outside the scope of this project.
  • Ongoing maintenance and new feature development post-launch (unless specified under a separate agreement).

6. Constraints:

  • The application must be developed and ready for launch within a timeline of X months.
  • All personal data collected by the application must comply with GDPR and other relevant data protection regulations.
  • The project budget must not exceed $XXX,XXX.

7. Assumptions:

  • Availability of clear communication channels between stakeholders and the development team.
  • The client will provide all necessary medical compliance requirements for health-related content.
  • Third-party APIs, if used for integrations, will be reliable and have documentation provided.

8. Acceptance Criteria:

  • The HealthTrack app is user-friendly and passes all functionality, performance, and security tests.
  • The app complies with all specified regulatory health requirements and privacy laws.
  • Positive feedback is received from initial user groups, with at least a 4-star average rating at launch.

9. Approval: The client and development team representatives sign below to indicate agreement on the project scope outlined above.

Client Representative: ___________________ Date: MM/DD/YYYY

Project Manager: _________________________ Date: MM/DD/YYYY

Project scope statement vs. project charter

While both the project scope statement and project charter are important project management documents, they serve different purposes.

The project scope statement focuses on defining the project’s objectives, deliverables, and boundaries. It provides a detailed description of what needs to be done to achieve the project’s goals. The scope statement acts as a guide for project managers and stakeholders, helping them understand the project’s scope and manage expectations.

On the other hand, the project charter is a high-level document that authorizes the project and formally establishes its existence. It outlines the project’s goals, objectives, and key stakeholders, and defines the project manager’s authority. The charter serves as a reference point throughout the project and helps ensure that everyone is aligned and working towards a common goal.

Project scope statement vs. scope of work

The project scope statement and scope of work are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing.

The project scope statement defines the objectives, deliverables, and boundaries of the project. It provides a detailed description of what needs to be done and what is not included in the project. The scope statement helps project managers and stakeholders understand the project’s scope and manage expectations.

On the other hand, the scope of work (SOW) is a document that outlines the specific tasks, activities, and resources required to complete a project. It is more detailed and specific than the project scope statement, focusing on the work to be done rather than the overall project objectives. The SOW is typically used in contractual agreements to ensure that all parties have a clear understanding of the work to be performed.


Writing a project scope statement is a crucial step in project management. It helps define the objectives, deliverables, and boundaries of the project, ensuring that everyone involved has a clear understanding of what needs to be done. By creating an effective scope statement, project managers can set clear expectations, manage risks, and prevent scope creep. Remember to involve key stakeholders, be specific, consider constraints and dependencies, and regularly update the scope statement. With a well-defined project scope statement in place, projects are more likely to be successful and deliver the desired outcomes.

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