The scope baseline is a crucial set of documents when it comes to planning your projects.
In a nutshell, the scope baseline’s elements collectively identify all the work that will be done in the project and how it will be performed and managed.
Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about the scope baseline.
What to Know About the Scope Baseline for the PMP Exam
The scope baseline is one of two outputs from the Create WBS process. The other is: project document updates.
This didn’t feel very intuitive to me at first, because shouldn’t the primary output of a process named “Create WBS” be the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)?
The scope baseline is actually made up of the approved versions of three key items:
1. The Scope Statement
2. The WBS
3. The WBS Dictionary
Backing up just a tad: We are early in the Planning process group when we perform the Create WBS process. We are in the Project Scope Management knowledge area, and performing the last of four processes in this particular stage.
The previous three processes have all led us to this one major output — the scope baseline — which gives us a path for how we’re going to perform the work to meet requirements. The three scope processes that immediately precede Create WBS are:
- Plan Scope Management
- Collect Requirements
- Define Scope
Each of these must be completed before we can create the scope baseline, so that’s how I remember that the scope baseline is one of the final outputs — along with project document updates — in the Planning process group and the Project Scope Management knowledge area.
And if you remember that the scope baseline is a three-piece output that is made up the scope statement, WBS and WBS Dictionary, then it becomes easier to recall that Create WBS is the final process in Scope Planning before we move to Schedule Planning processes.
The scope baseline is used later in the project lifecycle as a basis for comparison. Specifically, we use it in the Validate Scope and Control Scope processes, both of which are performing in Monitoring and Controlling > Project Scope Management.
The scope baseline is a component of the project management plan and can only be changed through the formal change control process.