Lean Project Scope Sheet

The Tool and Why It’s Valuable

Setting the appropriate boundaries, or scope, of a project is critical for its eventual success. Clearly articulating what is in scope and what is out of scope helps team members maintain their focus and guides their activities. It also allows for transparent progress tracking. Setting the scope of a Lean project is synonymous with completing a scoping document, which defines more than just the scope of the project.

Setting the scope, along with the targeted outcomes and metrics to be used, is helpful in clarifying the nature of the project as well as communicating to other stakeholders. This process may require additional investigation using tools in the Characterize Issues module to clarify the opportunities to be tackled by the project.

How to Apply It

  1. Start by clearly stating the problem the team will address to focus their improvement activities. (For more info see Problem Definition).
  2. Set the boundaries of the process so that the team has enough latitude to cover the most likely causes of the problem, yet can also make an impact and finish in a reasonable amount of time.
  3. Examine customer(s) of the process, outputs, inputs and suppliers (in that order) from the Boundary Map (SIPOC) to fully define the scope.
  4. State which parts of the process, organization, etc. are out of scope to improve clarity.
  5. Work with the project sponsors to develop the project objectives, success measures and initial communications.
  6. Identify team members and coordinate scheduling of the problem solving session(s).
Pearls and Pitfalls
  • Failure to identify and address the root cause means the problem will the incremental expansion of the project.
  • Beware of scope creep recur.
  • Scoping helps the team maintain their focus, guide their activities, and track progress.

Scope Sheet Guide



Include an Action Verb (What we want to do) + Noun (What do we want to impact or improve?)
OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT: (Why is this important to the organization and our customers?)
  • What is occurring, what is happening, what “pain” are we or our customers experiencing? What is wrong, not working, or could be much better?
  • Where does it occur?
  • How much, or what is the extent or magnitude of the problem?
PROJECT GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: (What will be achieved by working this project? Objectives are informed by background research and interviews.)
  • What will be different in the future?
  • What are the specific outcomes we expect? An example might be “Reduce number of days to process a claim by 50%”
  • What metrics will this project impact?

Note: Deliverables may be listed here.

CUSTOMERS AND STAKEHOLDERS:(Note key segments here)


Who are the direct users of our services affected by this project?


Who else may be impacted by the project or will play a key role in the project’s success?

Executive Sponsor:
The person who is accountable for the success (results) of the project.
Project Leader:
The day-to-day leader of the effort (solution).
Steering Committee:
These are leaders from along the value stream who provide oversight and guidance to project. They set the vision, determine the scope, provide resources and help remove barriers to project success.
Core Team Members:
These are the experts in the process who will work together to design and implement solutions. Try to keep team to 6-9 team members; make sure all process steps are represented by people who do the work.
Extended Team Members:
Subject matter experts or stakeholders who provide expertise, data or insight. These people are typically “on-call” during the project.
This person will coach and mentor the project leader.
SUCCESS MEASURES: (Typical metrics include impact on quality, speed, and cost. Add current performance and target performance if available.)

Primary Metric(s):

These are typically lagging metrics that measure process outcomes and performance to customer requirements.

Other Metrics:

These may be input or process metrics that, if improved, should drive improved outcomes and performance.

SCOPE LIMITATIONS:(Where are the boundaries?)

In Scope

What are the start and end steps in the process?

Are there particular populations, products or services included?

Out of Scope

What is not included?