Professional Services Guide
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What Is a Scope Baseline?

The scope baseline is part of the project plan. As PMBOK notes, a scope baseline “is the approved version of a scope statement, work breakdown structure (WBS), and its associated WBS dictionary.” Let’s define each of these documents:

  • Scope statement: A written definition of the project scope, including the goals, deliverables, and work involved in the project
  • Work breakdown structure: A document in which project deliverables are broken down into smaller, more manageable “packages” of work
  • WBS dictionary: A list detailing the specific tasks, activities, and deliverables of the WBS 

The scope baseline acts as a written agreement of the expectations and requirements of the project stakeholders. It is referenced throughout the project to monitor progress and measure actual vs. planned results. 

The scope baseline can only be modified through a formal change control process. This helps protect the project from scope creep.

Further reading
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How To Write a Project Scope Document

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Best Practices for Your Project Management Initiation Phase

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7 Stakeholders to Consult Before Starting a New Project

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How to Plan Resources for Your Operations Team