Scope Management

Scope management is the process of fully defining what needs to be accomplished to deliver a project and the plan for managing the work/deliverables needed to achieve it.

The Scope Management Plan:

  • Fully defines the work to be accomplished;
  • Defines deliverables needed to achieve the work;
  • Provides a basis for estimating schedule and budget.

To create a Scope Management Plan:

The Scope Management Plan consists of a scope description and a Major Deliverables Matrix that the PM and team customize for the project.

Step 1: Fully Define the Scope

The Resident Engineers provide a project scope overview to the PM that includes project start and end mileposts and a general description.  It is up to the PM and team to develop a more detailed scope description within those parameters.  The PM should initiate scope definition discussions with project team members, prior to and at the DSR Meeting. 

CDOT checklists and resources to help with scope definition include the Deliverables Matrix template, Forms 463, 1048, 1299, the Project Development Manual, etc.

Step 2: Create the Scope Management Plan: Scope Description

  • Detailed Project Scope Description describes what’s in, and what’s out.
  • Constraints impacting the project (e.g., nesting birds affect schedule, safety funds that must be expended by a specific date, etc.). 
  • Assumptions that form the basis for schedule and costs estimates
  • The PM’s role to approve Scope changes and the process to analyze impacts, escalate issues, communicate to Stakeholders, etc.

Step 3: Create the Major Deliverables Matrix

  • When the PM and Project Team have agreed to the project scope details, the PM will solicit team input to determine the deliverables needed to accomplish the scope.
  • The PM will use this information to complete the Major Deliverables Matrix, a list of deliverables needed to accomplish the project scope. The template includes a general listing of common deliverables but it needs to be customized to be specific to the project.  It captures the discipline responsible for providing the deliverables and the status of the deliverable anticipated at key project milestones.

Note:  Consider whether your project could benefit from a Value Engineering review – a systematic project review conducted during preliminary design by an independent team of experts. Although it may not be required, sometimes a VE study could benefit your project.  For more information, visit the CDOT Value Engineering webpage ( and/or the FHWA VE webpage (