What is Software Scope

Software scope is the work, features, capabilities and activities involved in creating, testing and delivering a piece of software.  What is to be done and delivered is in scope, what is not required is out of scope.  The term software scope is often short hand for the sum of the capabilities, and functions to be delivered.   It might also be short hand for the sum of the function points to be delivered –  ie the size.

Scope Management

Scope management is the activity of recording, communicating and tracking what is to be included in the project.  Keeping track of all what is to be included in the project is sometimes managed using models such as a product breakdown structure and/or use case models.  (ScopeMaster produces both of these).  It is important to track scope change (increase or decrease) and scope volatility (alterations) over time.  ScopeMaster® tracks both of these automatically

Scope Measurement

A useful way of managing scope of a software undertaking is to monitor the functional size.  Functional size is the only consistent way of measuring software size.  ScopeMaster automatically estimates the software size in COSMIC Function Points (this can be then refined to a precise measurement).   Software size for a given set of requirements is tracked over time so that a project manager can assess how the scope is changing over time.

CRUD Analysis with ScopeMaster - screenshot

ScopeMaster detects data movements across all user stories to determine the functional size of them.  This avoids the need time consuming (and unproductive) sizing discussions.

Illustrating Software Scope

Three useful ways of describing or illustrating the scope of piece of software are:

  1. Use Case Models – shows relationship between users and objects
  2. User journeys – shows the sequence of user functionality steps
  3. Product Breakdown Structure – describes all of the scope of the project in a hierarchical chart.

ScopeMaster makes it easy for analysts and product owners to create and use each of these three ways of illustrating scope, by automatically or semi-automatically creating these illustrations.

Software Scope Tracking

It is important to track the scope of the software project over time.  On every project (that we have seen) scope increases over time.  This is usually because requirements that were not thought of come to light as the project progresses.  Scope is usually only reduced when there is a challenge on how much time or money is available, and a deliberate decision is needed to reduce scope in order to hit a timeline.

ScopeMaster tracks the number of requirements in your project over time.

Scope Volatility Tracking

Scope volatility is the degree to which requirements change during a project.  This may be because they were unrefined to start with or it can be that circumstances change and thus the requirements (and hence scope) changes.

ScopeMaster tracks all changes over time to give you an auditable history of your software scope.

CRUD Analysis with ScopeMaster - screenshot
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