project management triangle illustration on a colorful notesAs quoted in the PMBOK, project scope is the portion of project planning that requires determining “the work that needs to be accomplished to deliver a product, service, or result with the specified features and functions.” Scope Management consists of 3 different processes: planning, controlling and closing. To understand how to successfully manage scope, you must have a detailed understanding of these 3 facets:


This is the first step. It requires you to define and document a list of all of the work that needs to be completed.



Once you know what needs to be done, you’ll have to monitor scope creep, approve and disapprove project changes and track all processes. If you’re unfamiliar with the term scope creep it is also commonly known as function or feature creep. Scope creep refers to all of the continuous growth of a project’s scope or the unforeseen and uncontrollable changes that may occur.


This is the final process, it requires an audit of the deliverables where you will have to assess the outcome and compare it to what you originally envisioned the final product to be like.

As a project manager you understand that you’ll often bounce back and fourth between different project methodologies. However, regardless of which you choose to use, you’ll need to define the project scope. Make sure you are able to identify all of the following:

  • Project goals

  • Working schedule

  • Project phases and sub-phases

  • Budget

Once this is done, you should move onto completing the following 2 steps:

Step 1: Know what you need

You want to be able to develop a project timeline and get all of the resources you’ll need. To do so you should first start off by defining these needs- in other words the scope. Once you have completed this, you’ll be able to allocate tasks to specific team members.

Step 2: Understand what your objectives are

If you want to have a well-defined scope, you’ll need to have a clear understanding of what you wish to achieve through the completion of this project. For instance, you may want to develop an enhanced product or a new service. Regardless, you’ll need to outline all of the central objectives you have for your project. And as a project manager, it will become your goal and role to make sure that team members continuously aim to achieve these objectives.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

The WBS is a very important component of Scope Management, however many project managers don’t realize this and choose to skip the step.  This can lead to developing inaccurate plans that create complications for the completion of the project. WBS is extremely useful because it allows project managers to break down their scope statements into small units of work that are much easier to manage. These units are frequently known as packages and the result of following the WBS is that you’ll have a list of all the work packages necessary to complete your project.

Advantage point

Being familiar with Scope Management and all of the concepts previously listed will absolutely provide you with numerous benefits. You’ll be able to manage your projects more successfully and with less uncertainty and risk of failure. However, even with the knowledge you’ve just attained, there is always the chance you’ll come across unexpected circumstances. While you can’t prevent this from occurring, you can prevent your business from crashing by depending on a strong project management tool like ITM Platform. ITM Platform has an abundance PM tools which will help you manage scope and decrease ambiguity, relieving you from unnecessary work and confusion. ITM Platform continuously guides you in the right direction by requiring you to follow the proper steps of establishing a scope: completely defining your scope, finalizing and distributing it to all team members with the help of an integrated communication system.

Scope Management is easy to implement but does require time and effort. The reason why ITM Platform would be so useful is because it aids in extending past human thinking and defining scope with little granularity.

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Isidora Roskic-Blogger ITM Platform

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team members around a table, doing a puzzle together Perhaps the most important part of project management is that of control. Once the decision has been taken to launch and implement a project, the project manager must assume the responsibility for ensuring that each person involved completes their assigned tasks in order to thereby guarantee that the project runs according to plan.

The concept of project control is very simple: a project is created with certain targets after studying the resources available and drawing up a schedule to reach those goals. Control is what ensures oversight of these plans, ensuring that no team member deviates from the course set. The completion of control-related tasks will ensure achievement of the targets as they were defined in the planning stage.

After planning a project, it is recommended to implement a control system. The main requirement to begin with will be for the project to be fully defined and approved by the steering committee or shareholders’ meeting and, as appropriate, by the sponsor of the actions to be carried out.

These lines of action will indicate the costs, the scope for the project and the schedule to be followed for meeting the targets:

  • Cost base: this specifies the costs to be incurred by the project, with a distribution over time that will be coherent with completion of the tasks over time. This is very useful when wishing to compare estimates with actual cost.

  • Schedule base: a timeline with the targets set for each stage of the project will be created.

  • Scope base: formed by the various activities that comprise the project and that will enable the deliverables to be produced. All this is reflected in the WBS that was approved. The scope base allows the progress of each activity and each deliverable to be known.

Once these baselines are defined, it is time to get to work on project control. Of course, it is very important to consider certain factors when doing so.

  • Scope: This will control the tasks that should be carried out by each member of the project and that the result meets the requirements initially stipulated. Whenever a task fails to meet these requirements, it is considered as incomplete.

  • Deadline: Within project control, it is essential to monitor compliance with agreed deadlines. It should be noted at this point that the first schedule is drawn up without considering a margin for risks. This is because if these margins were to be considered at that point, they would end up being used to cover other issues that are not strictly considered as risks.

  • CostTwo factors require control in this regard: the total cost of the project and treasury control.

  • Risks: It is important to keep risks under control because, in the event of an unforeseen eventuality, this will have an immediate effect on the achievement of project targets.

Professional help for projectsBeing able to undertake large-scale projects and fully control them is a process that can sometimes prove rather complicated. It is therefore necessary to have software such as ITM Platform that incorporates the flexible management methods used by major corporations into your company. It is a great tool that will facilitate project implementation and delivery within established deadlines, and that offers advanced solutions to business.

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The success of projects is key to any company, but even more so to those where the outturn account depends on projects. Programming, design, construction and consultancy companies and, generally-speaking, any company that undertakes projects for its clients must pay significant attention to the profitability of each project.

This article offers an analysis of the main factors influencing project profitability. This is a complicated topic and no sweeping generalizations should be made. Hence, these factors must be adapted to the specific circumstances surrounding each organization, sector and client.

Zoom into your projects while maintaining a global vision of your entire project portfolio with ITM Platform, try now for free!

1.- Define the scope

The first and major issue affecting project profitability is linked to discrepancies between what should be included or excluded from the scope of a project. Clients tend to consider a broader scope than project leaders and this difference in perception often leads to problems and conflicts that eventually affect project profitability.

Spending the necessary time to define and share the scope of a project is a key factor in project profitability.

General information, ITM Platform

2.- Estimate the effort

There can occasionally be little time to provide a client with a commercial offer for the project. This can lead to hasty estimations based on similarities between the project in question and others carried out in the past. As a result, the risk of mistakes is very high and should be reduced by breaking down the tasks involved and producing a bottom-up estimation to confirm that the overall estimation is in line with the work that needs to be done.

This estimate should include as much detail as possible on the profiles needed for each activity.

A good estimate will avoid project cost deviations.

Estimated effort

3.- Plan slowly

The break-down of tasks and their estimation should be undertaken as part of careful planning of the work to be done. The organization of activities and their inter-relationships may result in the need for additional tasks or certain tasks being completed after others, which can lead to additional project costs.

Optimistic planning will mean the client has hard-to-meet expectations about the delivery date and this will eventually affect the cost.

Gantt, ITM Platform

4.- Choose the right team

The project team is a key piece of the puzzle in transforming project estimates and planning into reality, thereby meeting client expectations and maintaining the appropriate level of quality. Scrimping on resources may be more expensive in the long run. Using under-qualified personnel with no experience or little motivation may be cheaper to begin with but this can very easily become a negative factor for profitability when having to do the same work more than once, wasting time on ensuring people are clear on what needs to be done or learning how they need to do it.

High-productivity teams are capable of significantly increasing project profitability.

Assign role

5.- Identify risks

All projects have some sort of risk that must be analyzed and assessed. Some risks may be unlikely while others may have a minimal impact on the project, meaning that highly significant corrective actions to counteract such risks would be unnecessary.
Those risks with the greatest exposure, i.e. those whose impact and likelihood are average or high, should be managed and may require specific actions to guarantee project profitability.

It might even be necessary to establish a safety margin in the cost to be paid by the client depending on the degree of uncertainty and the risk posed by the project.

Risk Matrix

6. Analyze profitability at the start

While considering all the aforementioned factors, project profitability should be analyzed before the project begins. It is possible that, for commercial reasons, projects with little initial profitability will sometimes need to be undertaken in the hope that the client will contract other services in the future. At any event, this fact and the level of profitability to be expected from the project should be ascertained.

Only by ascertaining the expected profitability will we be able to manage it.

Costs and revenues

7.- Foster communication by the team and with the client

Communication within the team and communication with the client are key to project profitability.

If the team communicates quickly and smoothly, it will be possible to identify any problems in time and any confusion or misunderstanding that could ruin a project will be avoided.

Communication with the client will enable expectations to be properly managed and the client to understand and collaborate on any stumbling block that may arise.

platform to communicate, comment

8.- Record data and manage them

Data are key to project management. Feelings and anecdotes in management may provide a comfortable or negative sensation of progress and advancement, but only objective and recorded data will be able to provide the information needed for efficient management. Recording data may lead to conflict with the project team, the members of which tend to focus on activities they consider to be productive.

It is essential for the team to understand the importance of tracking information and undertaking data entry on a regular basis and without unnecessary effort.

Time sheet, ITM Platform

9.- Track profitability at all times

Tracking project profitability is not an issue that should be left until the end, once the project has finished: it should be undertaken constantly, regularly checking project status to date and taking any necessary steps when unforeseen deviations or circumstances are identified.

If they are identified quickly and a timely response is given, we will be able to correct any problems and return to maximum profitability.

Real and budgeted costs

10.- Project deviations

Small deviations at the start of a project tend not to be considered seriously in the hope that the project will get back on track as time goes by. However, recovery from such initial deviations is usually a very complex task that is hard to achieve.

Furthermore, these deviations are often the symptom of a larger problem, meaning it is important to project them into the future and gain a clear picture of the situation.

The Earned Value technique is a very useful tool for making project status projections.

Added value

11.- Learn from mistakes and successes

If we properly record the most relevant data from our projects, we will be able to analyze what really happened and what the specific factors were that meant certain projects achieved greater profitability than others.

We should learn from both our mistakes and our successes, being able to identify those we should correct and improve upon as well as those we can repeat and encourage.

Project portfolio

12.- Use the right tools

For all these reasons, it is important to use the right tools (without generating a high cost for the project) that will enable swift and efficient project management, help estimate and plan, record and analyze data, and allow the team to work comfortably from anywhere.

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